Same Sex Marriage

So our President finally had the political courage to say publicly what I am sure he has privately believed for a long time. Kudos to him. I am not sure about the political wisdom of that disclosure. But it takes courage to come out and say it, particularly in an election year in an country where 30 states have explicity banned it.

We talked about the same sex issue on this blog last weekend in connection with North Carolina's Amendment One, which passed this week with 60% of the vote.

I'm with the President on this one. I believe that same sex couples should be allowed to marry. And I am glad that I live in a state that recognizes that right. For me it is about basic human decency.

But more than that, I applaud the President for taking an important step to say that gay people are normal and accepted in our country. Frank Bruni put it this way:

I find myself thinking about all the teenagers and young adults out there who cower in silence because they worry about being ostracized if they speak the truth about their sexual orientation. I think about the ones who are bullied, even the ones who contemplate taking their own lives.

And I think about what it will mean to them to hear the president say what he did today, not because they’re focused on marriage but because they’re buoyed by any and every reassurance that there’s nothing wrong with them, nothing inferior about them. Today their president gave them that reassurance.

That's what this is all about. Normalcy. Being accepted. And I am with the President 100% on this issue and commend him for doing what he did. A proud day in my book.


Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    Any social institution that sets one group against another is on borrowed time in the network society.

    1. andyswan

      How’s the 99% doing?

      1. jason wright

        It’s interesting. I received an email notifying me of a reply to my post. Call it intuition, but I had a feeling it was you replying. Consistency is good. Keep working hard, and with passion.40mm people without a penny to spend is no help to an entrepreneur, an economy, or a society. It needs a fix.

        1. raycote

          Yup! It is all about killing off the mythsupply = demandfor the truthsupply = effective demand

  2. David Noël

    There are not too many things to be proud of being a Belgian but the one thing I am most proud of, is that Belgium was the world’s second country to legalize same-sex marriage. I have three direct relatives who live in a same-sex relationship/marriage. Some have children and their families are fantastic, supported by their local communities.

    1. jason wright

      …but you do have Tomeka Tom.

    2. Rohan

      You missed beer!

      1. David Noël

        Yeah that’s one of the not-so-many thingsSent from my Gulfstream V

        1. fredwilson

          congrats on the Next SoundCloud launch David. i’ve been using it in the closed beta. it is awesome.

          1. David Noël

            Thank you, Fred. I am glad to hear that.I was so nervous (still am) to see it out in the wild and the feedback so far has been so rewarding. Proud of this effort to which the entire company has contributed. Thank you for your support.

        2. JamesHRH

          Very funny tag.

    3. RichardF

      food, chocolate, Bruges and Hergé’s Adventures of Tin Tin are all something to be proud of David 😉

      1. David Noël

        Yep, they are indeed. Moules & frites also.

  3. Jan Schultink

    The US is very advanced in many things. I am just surprised how far they are behind in some aspects. The death penalty is another example.

    1. JLM

      America finally gets to the right answer but only after having tried everything else.Abortion and the death penalty are barbaric.We are in the phase of those issues as we were in the debate about slavery before the American Civil War.

  4. teegee

    No political ulterior motives then? I’m not saying that he doesn’t believe what he said, but surely he didn’t have to wait all this time to come out and say it? Just seems to me that doing so a few months before a re-election campaign is a bit fishy.

    1. fredwilson

      i don’t think the political math works for him on this issue.

      1. andyswan

        He raised $1m in 90 minutes after saying it.

        1. fredwilson

          and lost millions of votes

          1. markslater

            yep – thats gonna definitely hurt him. but what ever your beliefs and i am not his hugest fan – hat-tip for doing it.

    2. Dave Pinsen

      It’s hard to know what he believes. As someone on Twitter remarked yesterday, President Obama was for gay marriage in 1996 but against it in 2011.

      1. fredwilson

        just like Romney. that is politics it seems. i am just happy that the President came clean on this issue.

      2. JamesHRH

        Dave – tactical versus strategic politics. So many people now refuse to respect someone as a person of character. They want what they want – their piddling checklist of mostly emotional and largely inconsequential (from a good governance perspective) things.Electing people of character is nearly impossible – if they speak their minds, they are unelectable.I think Obama has really struggled with this issue.

    3. Joel Natividad

      ??? It would have been politically safer for Obama if he stayed vague on the topic and pander to both sides of the marriage equality debate. It was really brave of POTUS to come out and I support him 110%!

    4. Guest

      If you believe that, then you also must believe that putting amendments on ballots defining marriage as between a man and a woman also falls under “ulterior motives” too.I just wonder why we continue to demand to define marriage as between “one” man and “one” woman when we have a divorce rate of over 50%.If we clearly mean one man and one woman then that makes divorce illegal…or is that we mean one man and one woman at a time?I want a constitutional amendment which I call “the one strike rule” you get one swing at the marriage thing and that’s it? Better make it a good one because its your only one!Bet that wouldn’t pass in NC! 🙂 I always thought morals and values were what you lived your own life by not what you used to determine how other people live their lives…..

    5. bsoist

      I’m convinced it’s not entirely political. He did the right thing. I’m surprised, because I think this hurts him politically.

  5. JimHirshfield

    Amen brother.

  6. Richard

    What we need in this country is More Sex Marraige for all genders.

    1. fredwilson

      more sex. yes, that is good advice for all marriages and all relationships

      1. Rohan

        Good reading between the lines…..

        1. Cam MacRae

          …or between the sheets!

          1. Rohan


      2. Richard

        Yep, sex has more value per unit time than almost anything you can do to maintain a relationship (nothing to crowdsource when it comes to intimacy)

        1. fredwilson

          “you can’t crowdsource intimacy”words to live by. i live by them.

      3. Guest

        Sex? What’s that…Lets see, Fred, you work 12 hour days, by reading your blog, we know that you spend three hours a day on emails, you are constantly speaking to groups, flying all over the country….If I sat down and did some quick math the only time you have available is that extra day we get with leap years! 🙂

        1. fredwilson

          you have to make the time

      4. panterosa,

        YES! It is actually a cornerstone of good communication to broker strong intimacy. It translates outwards in one’s life when one can form bonds which are beneficial for me, you and we. Learning to be a good partner and have a strong partnership.Besides the fun of it!

    2. panterosa,

      Right on!Vitamin O.Not enough people get it regularly, especially not in an intimate and healthy way.

      1. Anthony Ortenzi

        I’m sure that pharmaceutical companies would love to sell us all oxytocin.

        1. panterosa,

          My first O was not referencing oxytocin….Why would anyone buy what their body makes for free?? Plus it’s fun to make it…

  7. Rohan

    Not sure if you’ve seen this 1.5 min video – I find it incredibly inspiringGoogle Chrome’s – It get’s better…I love their video. Almost every one of them is excellent with a few like this one, Coffee, Dear Sophie being exceptional.

  8. Humberto

    “normal” is a statistical concept, and I’d be careful to apply it next to “acceptance” and “reassurance” Fred.Many deseases are as prevalent as homossexuality (10-20%), which is assumed to be partial biological predisposition partial choice. Both need to be accepted and reassured, but you’d never say a desease to be “normal”.On the other end, there are many really normal things like teenage drinking and smoking and unprotected sex, which are normal (~50%) but that are not/ should not be accepted or reassured.I think the key concepts here are individuality (not normality), acceptance and reassurance.Acceptance and Reassurance have nothing to do with normality.

    1. JamesHRH

      in post-war NA, normal was much more than that. It was a shared aspiration.

    2. raycote

      I would thing that it is very statistical normal for all humans to crave acceptance and reassurance. Those are basically just extensions of the survival instinct ?

  9. Frank Smythe

    Again Obama is Newsjacking the system. His goal is to shame us into compliance on this issue. As is your goal as well Fred. Be careful. Fear mongering, fear tactics, and self-entitlement don’t work with God.

    1. fredwilson

      God is love. and i love gay people. i suspect God does too.

      1. markslater

        careful fred – do your feet feel warm……

        1. raycote

          Would loved to have seen an illustration along with that post 🙂

    2. bsoist

      “Fear mongering, fear tactics, and self-entitlement don’t work with God.”They seem to work for the church.

      1. reece

        +1000that’s all the church has ever done

        1. markslater


      2. JamesHRH

        As Kevin Smith stated – “God is into Faith. God is not into market share. You guys came up with that one.”

    3. raycote

      For God sake man stop placing your God-connection above everyone else’s God-connection. Your is no sacrosanct.

    4. JamesHRH

      You have the red phone to the Supreme Deity’s office, I take it?Frank, you are not capable of reasonable debate or discussion.You are, apparently, the Moses of our time – coming down from the mount with the word, straight up. If I believed I was where you are, I wouldn’t listen to anyone, either.However, listening – & reasonable interactions with others – are table stakes here.You don’t have the ante. Find another table.

      1. Frank Smythe

        The real issue here is the support for same sex marriage is a stunt – he’s doing it for votes. All he did was make a statement in support of same sex marriage. No legislation, with no plans to introduce legislation, nothing. Back real issues with real support and passion. Not a political farce. I personally support and defend traditional marriage. Your criticism on anything I print here will NEVER change my beliefs or my God based core. This is my last response to this thread.frank

        1. MikeSchinkel

          It’s a vote stunt for Obama? And the GOP is not at all to blame for inciting social conservatives on wedge issues? I think we have a highly darkened pot calling the a lightly darkened kettle black here.Also, nice to know your thought process is impervious to any and all possible future discovery.

  10. bsoist

    Early yesterday, before Obama spoke out on the issue, I read a piece about “framing” the issue. My response – you got that right!short version “the issue is about proper recognition, and the right to grow up, fall in love, and get married.”slightly longer version…

  11. kidmercury

    1. obama’s comments are meaningless. they have no legal impact and the guy is a complete liar so who knows if they are actually true.2. i’m not really a fan of amendment one and the type of culture such a law would help create. however, i am very much interested in defending the right of local governments — and remember, this is an NC law — to do as they please. it is the business of north carolinians and i am interested in allowing them to have their beliefs, even if i disagree — doubly so when their beliefs are not violent.3. this is a non-issue! national debt is 15.69 trillion, in a couple weeks we’ll hit 16 trillion. that affects all people in the US, not just in north carolina, heterosexual and homosexual, and future generations. 9/11 was an inside job. former CIA agents have already admitted to killing jfk. non-stop wars, completely unjustified and immoral, are going on in the world today. if the president had courage he would speak about these things instead of signing NDAA (and probably CISPA!!!!!) and making meaningless statements about gay marriage.9/11 was an inside job,kid mercury

    1. andyswan

      distraction and fund-raising. With the war on prosperity going so swimmingly, you’ve gotta keep em fighting with each other. Contraception, private-jets, war on women, Trayvon….on and on with divisive tactics.

      1. kidmercury

        anything to avoid talking about the debt…..

        1. raycote

          You keep talking about the debt as if it were important enough for anyone to really care about !:-(

      2. JamesHRH

        Andy, I don’t hold your views, but ‘the war on prosperity’ is a classic.Quick, trademark it!

    2. Mark Gavagan

      You’re wrong that same-sex marriage is a “non-issue” – withholding any right or freedom or opportunity from any person or group based upon their sexual orientation is no better than doing the same based upon their religion or the color of their skin.”Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” -MLK-Mark Gavagan

      1. kidmercury

        i’m not sure if gay marriage is a right. i don’t see how marriage — hetero or homo — is a right. moreover, what about the “right” of north carolinians to live in a world free of gay marriage if that is what they want? (or at least what they think they want)

        1. Mark Gavagan

          kidmercury,The “right” is for equal treatment under the law, regardless of sexual orientation.-MG

          1. JamesHRH

            Mark – I got on this on the w/e, but is it a right to have everything labelled the same? can’t you have all the rights of marriage in a civil union?Many people I know – older admittedly – do not see the label or institution of marriage as something they should or need to share with gay couples.

          2. raycote

            Older people should be wise enough at this stage of their lives to realize that the marriage label encompasses a big enough tent to accommodate all comers(pun intended).

          3. JamesHRH

            The label and the rights are two different things.

          4. raycote

            Dosen’tThe “right” to equal treatment under the rule of lawkind of cover all the various flavours and labels?

          5. JamesHRH

            Rights are protective. The right not to be labelled – through epithets and hate speech – is very important.Asking to share a label that is, for many people, not applicable, is not protective. So, in this case, they are different.

          6. kidmercury

            is there a real example of how people are getting treated differently? i get that they don’t get the marriage certificate unless it is a hetero couple. aside from the certificate, is there any real difference?

          7. raycote

            OK – apparently your not in a committed relationship with children and shared assets?

          8. kidmercury

            no, i’m not, but i don’t see how all that stuff cannot get sorted out via contract law.

          9. MikeSchinkel

            Contract law? What a nightmare!So now to figure out hospital visitation rights we need to carry around our marriage contract and have the legal staff at the hospital review it to ensure we have a legal right? Of course they won’t charge us for that lawyer, nor will it take any extra time we might not have during emergencies, will it?Now let’s extrapolate this for all the other times when the law grants special privileges to family. Standardization is a virtue.I’m 49 but while in my teens (and probably a homophobe at the time) I *never* would have thought my country would be arguing for *more* discrimination when I was almost 50. In the USA all men are created equal, right? Why then don’t we treat them that way?

          10. MikeSchinkel

            Here are just some reasons:1. Health care benefits for spouse2. Inheritance and access to probate court 3. Institutional visitation at hospital or prison4. Joint bank accounts and club memberships 5. Government enforcement of private commitment6. Access to domestic relations courtNot all, just some.

          11. kidmercury

            1. that’s a healthcare reform issue, not a marriage reform issue. 2. contract law3. really? so this is what all the hooplah boils down to? prison visitation rights? lol….well one solution would be to put less people in jail. we have the highest incarceration rates here in the land of the free. 4. don’t follow here….you can setup joint accounts with non-spouses. moreover, not all spouses have joint accounts. 5. contract law6. contract lawmarriage is just a contract between two people. all of marriage law can thus fall under contract law.i dont care who marries whom, gay or hetero or whatever. i do care about states’ rights and about having a society that focuses on important political problems — i assure you there is no shortage of those.

          12. MikeSchinkel

            Are you seriously suggesting that we burden everyone in society with the expense of contract law rather than allow a standard de-facto contract known as “Marriage?” The standard which in the USA has over two centuries of established legal precedence. All because of, why? What benefit does would converting marriage to contract law actually provide?As an aside, I have questions: How many hours of legal fees have you had to pay for? How many contracts have you paid to have drafted? How many times have you had to sue someone? How many times have you been sued?Wait, I get it, you are just an stealth advocate for the ABA! 😉

          13. kidmercury

            that “burden” would be solved almost immediately — in fact i bet it already is solved — by people who produce their own contracts and share them. there are template contracts for everything. why not marriage/civil union/whatever.

          14. MikeSchinkel

            If that were true then most contracts would be based on templates and we wouldn’t spend so much of our GDP on legal fees. I’d be surprise if more than 10% of all current contracts are fully based on templates.As with technologies, “standards” are critical for creating shared expertise and keeping costs low; why would you burden all married couples with the need to pay for legal advice on contracts when we can just use the one defacto contract that already exists and everybody already understands, i.e. “Marriage?” And if they want to modify it, there are already things call “pre-nups.”Besides, you didn’t answer my questions; how many contracts have you had lawyers draft, and how much money have you spent on contracts?

          15. kidmercury

            marriage IS a template contract!i had a lawyer draft one contract for $500. that is the only one i can think dont need a lawyer for contracts. what i am proposing is less burdensome than everyone having to pay for a wedding license for a standardized contract anyway.but this issue has nothing to do with contracts, it has everything to do with fashion and people’s sense of inequality — its driven by emotions, not logic or philosophy.

          16. MikeSchinkel

            It’s not just the contract, but the general knowledge in society by everyone, including non-lawyers, how to apply it. If I am working in a hospital and you say you have a contract that tells me nothing about my legal obligations to you or your legal rights. If you tell me you are married, I can immediately know most of what applies.P.S. You STILL didn’t answer the questions… 😉

          17. Skinner Layne

            Most of those do not require marriage and could be achieved by other means,, but there is a very important one (and perhaps the ONLY) right that is genuinely unique to marriage: spousal privilege in court, that is, the right of a person not to testify against his/her spouse in court. While a rarely if ever needed right, it is quite significant. The person who knows you the most intimately being forced to testify against you in court is a tremendous evil practiced in places like the Soviet Union and East Germany.

          18. MikeSchinkel

            Maybe not actually, but practically speaking marriage makes such thing a lot easier.Good extrapolation on the court issue.

    3. JamesHRH

      Kid – he’s indecisive, in my books. That’s nearly as bad as lying, in leadership.

    4. raycote

      OK – apparently you’re not gay!NowI’d like to here your thoughts on states rights and Banking.

      1. kidmercury

        i would love to see the states go back to their own currencies, or negotiating their own currency unions. utah and virginia have suggested doing this. the whole idea behind the US model of federalism is that the federal government is an agreement amongst the states; now, though, the federal government is more like the boss of the states.states going back to their own banking system, like the way it was back in the 17th and 18th centuries, would be great. the eurozone appears to be on the verge of breaking up and could be going back to national currencies as well. local is where it’s at.

  12. Frank Smythe

    Your post was agreeing with same sex marriage…not loving people. This is not a right and a privilege. Its your opinion. Have it. I’m not your vindicator. But God is. The one thing I know is that God IS always right – and government is mostly wrong.

    1. fredwilson

      isn’t marriage about loving someone?

      1. Darwin

        For Frank it seems to be the ability to reproduce. However poor the genetic material is – as long it’s between consenting male/female christians.

      2. PJSweeney

        No marriage isn’t about loving someone – if that was the case we would want to marry our kids, our parents, our best friends, our pets. Love isn’t a finite emotion – it should be freely dispensed!Historically marriage is about a covenant created by the church and became a legal issue when church and state were much more intertwined. This is why government should have nothing to do with marriage. Politics never interferes with receiving communion or bar mitzvah and that seems to be working out pretty well…

        1. fredwilson

          so anyone should be able to get married to anyone else without the government being involved?

          1. Carl Rahn Griffith

            It should be as secular a loving bond between 2 people – 2 people, not solely 2 differing genders – as they wish it to be. If religious institutions won’t endorse or sanctify it, so be it – is their loss as they show so little empathy with humanity and emotions. In which case it being always possible to be legally endorsed in a secular matter is so very important.

          2. Jim Ritchie

            Serious question, why just 2 people? Why not polygamy? I am married to a great woman and I would not want a second wife, but what about those that do? I was not raised in the LDS faith either, but late in life I discovered that my Great Grandfather had 3 wives and 32 children, can you imagine that? It seems if you uncork the genie’s bottle then all options should be OK as long as they are consenting adults.

        2. JamesHRH

          PJ – that ship has sailed. Government granted rights to people based on marital status. you will never unwind it.

        3. Cam MacRae

          How was an institution that predates the church created by it?

      3. ShanaC

        I would say it is more of a contractual issue. Marriage seems to be less about love than about setting up a household. (love is a nice bonus though)

    2. LissIsMore

      And God is clear on this issue?

    3. JamesHRH

      Frank, I am not a particularly religious person, but I come from a family that is highly involved in the Anglican tradition (there were 3 bishops @ my Father’s funeral in March).From my discussions with people like those bishops, it is clear that any form of religion that uses God as a replacement for personal accountability (God is always right; Its God’s will that we won that football game; God told me to…..) is not a religion – its a cult.Evangelical anything – Christianity, Islam, Green, GLBT, Animal rights – is the single scariest force on the planet today.

      1. fredwilson

        people should think for themselves. listening to priests is a bad idea.

        1. JamesHRH

          The role is an opportunity to counsel, if the person is someone of real wisdom on human nature & emotional issues.The secular world has kicked religion’s butt in these areas. There are tons of alternatives and churches horrible management of their front line staff has reduced their credibility drastically.

          1. ShanaC

            I’ve never been more disappointed in my life except when looking at religion. Hard to say that aloud…

          2. JamesHRH

            My Mom is a woman of tremendous faith, but not evangelical. She has never argued when I tell her that faith is a tremendous asset but organized religion, over the past 5000 years, grading favourably, is a break even proposition.

        2. JLM

          I agree completely with you that people should think for themselves. Critical thinking is the difference between children and adults.Critical thinking is the result of having received, reviewed and evaluated a number of different inputs including the wisdom of others.That wisdom should be sought from wherever it exists. Including from rabbis, priests, imams. And why not?That does not imply that a critical thinker would simply knee jerk embrace whatever is passed along as wisdom. It all requires evaluation.I remember the Irish Catholic priests of my youth who took an interest in me personally and spiritually. They coached basketball, they conducted Mass and they preached the Gospel.I learned the merits of the bounce pass. I learned the Mass in Latin and English. I learned the role of God in my life.I got very high grades on the bounce pass.I got passing grades on being an altar boy.I got middling grades in paying attention to the preaching.But I had great role models, men of real empathy, spiritual nurturing and an introduction to faith from those wonderful men.Today on occasion I have the blessing of breaking bread with a retired Bishop and I leave every lunch knowing that I have been in the presence of a truly holy man. A true man of God. I receive the grace I need in my life and it nurtures my soul like a chicken fried steak.I remember telling him one of my greatest fears, one of my worst transgressions — real or imagined, my soul was tortured — and the peace he was able to offer to me through wisdom, self discovery, confession and absolution.It was a sacrament and it healed me.Please do not reject wholesale the spirituality that can assist us all in our hour of need because of a singular experience.Listen to those damn priests. I pray this prayer for all of us sinners.

          1. JamesHRH

            Hard to find good clergy, in any faith, these days – IMO.

          2. fredwilson

            good clergy is like good politiciansin extremely short supply

          3. JLM


          4. fredwilson

            i don’t reject your spirituality JLM. i celebrate it. my mom gets the same joy from her faith.i reject other people forcing their spirituality down my throat. it pisses me off.

          5. MikeSchinkel

            @fredwilson:disqus I wish I could say I celebrate other’s spirituality, I used to. But I’ve become so jaded by those who keep trying to force their spirituality down other people’s throat thats I’ve become allergic to even mentions of it. I currently see the good thesists as just enabling the bad.It’s like a business deal that needs to be modified between two reasonable parties; that’s how religion should be, to each his own. But the current political “accept no compromised” approach of the social conservatives is like two unreasonable parties battling to the metaphorical death in court; everyone is devastated save the lawyers/politicians, the latter who benefit from it all.

          6. JLM

            When ideas wrestle better and stronger ideas result. We all have to get the best ideas into the wrestling match.I want to know what everyone is thinking even if I disagree with it completely. That is the aim of “intelligence” to know the entire argument.Perhaps to ensure that your own conclusions are reasonable within the entire framework of the intelligence.The best arguments I ever have are with myself..

          7. MikeSchinkel

            @JLM Well said.However, I do have to wonder how you keep this up on, all day, every day? I’ve been sick at home the past few days so I’ve allowed myself to indulge in replies on this topic, but I can’t imagine being able to get anything productive done in life if I were to spend as much time here on a daily basis.Anywho…

          8. JLM

            I am turned off by anyone trying to sell me anything when I have no interest in buying.We are all in turn at different times in our life ready to embrace new or old ideas.I would suggest that your own observations as to your conversion to “blogging” are such an epiphany.Certainly your influence on me — subtle, appealing to the intellectual considerations, your success — has been exactly that. An influence that was not rammed down my throat.I like to think I keep my eyes open to see and my ears open to hear and neither ignore or miss the message.

          9. MikeSchinkel

            @JLM:disqus Yes, we are “turned off” when people are trying to sell things we don’t want to buy. And we as adults can simply ignore it.Unless, of course, the group trying to “sell” something has a huge contingent lobbying for discrimination being codified into our laws:Reminds me of this xkcd classic:

          10. FlavioGomes

            Two eyes two ears one mouth…that proportion has always stood the test of time.

      2. bsoist

        “the single scariest force on the planet today.” -Exactly!

    4. ShanaC

      Prove god…

      1. raycote

        We are God because only we can create the idea of his existence in our holy brains.God is the universal mind that shatters the symmetry of infinite nothingness.God can be imaged up at infinite levels of abstraction.As for provability the best I can muster is to fall back on that famous philosopher Mr. DeathCarts” WE IMAGINE THEREFORE HE IS”;-))

    5. raycote

      But my God is telling me that in the name of love and acceptance of others that recognizing same sex marriage is the righteous thing to do.No one has a monopoly on a spiritual hotline to God ?

    6. MikeSchinkel

      No kidding! That Inquisition thing was sooo on-the-money!

  13. andyswan

    Three points:1. This was the final act of political cowardice. Backed into a corner on an “evolving” position with reporters LITERALLY laughing at his stance in the WH briefing room, he decides to change his old position to one that will placate his base.2. This was not the “line in the sand” kind of position that O’s supporters are projecting onto him (as usual). It will morph into a “I said SHOULD…but it’s still up to each State” stance. Imagine that… a states-rights advocate fresh off the heals of Obamacare unconstitutionality. It’ll happen.3. I have no idea why in the hell government is involved in marriage in the first place. As usual, no one on the political stage even has the courage to ask the VERY FIRST question that should be asked of any issue: Is this the federal government’s role to decide?I’m happy that people are happy. I can honestly say that I’ve never even considered whether two people’s commitment to each other (including my own) was sanctioned by the State.Individuals left free to make their own relationships, decisions, commitments and contracts without government intrusion is the right answer. I feel that regardless of the stance of the politician, anything that asserts gov’t authority over the process is a step in the wrong direction.

    1. kidmercury

      well said.

    2. fredwilson

      we disagree on the politics but i can’t agree with you more on that last paragraph

      1. Robert Holtz

        I’m with you and the President on this one as well. And I say that because I believe in freedom. I am not of a homosexual orientation at all but I also have absolutely no problem whatsoever with people living their lives that way. How dare someone regard a gay or lesbian person as somehow less of a person? To me that is as outrageous as was slavery and I’m glad I wasn’t alive for that era. I am fundamentally opposed to any form of law that limits rather than elevates the human potential.I’m gonna break about 12 of my own rules in saying what I am about to say but here goes… I’m neither a Democrat nor a Republican. The closest thing to what I am is a Libertarian because I believe in small government but not a non-existent government. In my opinion, there ARE some things that only government should do but there are also a helluva lot of things it does now that it shouldn’t be doing.I think part of what has historically made the United States such an example to the world was that by mere virtue of being an American you could count on a certain base standard of living and while I am a huge proponent of capitalism, I also know that capitalism is not the solution for everything under the sun. Government is needed in places that set a floor for a standard of living where a profit scenario can not be defined. Plus, as we evolve, I think capitalism itself can be more compassionate and progressive… I am a huge proponent of doing good while doing well.But capitalism does not solve all. That base floor is in my view government’s most important role in a civilized society. Examples are public roadways, public parks, fire fighters, military, libraries, and yes a baseline version of a public healthcare system. It is a crying shame that right now as you read this post, there are people being turned away to die even though the medication, the technology, and the doctors to cure them are there but the healthcare providers can’t calculate a profit scenario on their particular case. Is that what we’re about? REALLY? It doesn’t make us socialists to say that as human beings some things should be done because we are civilized enough and humane enough that we don’t need to wrap a financial ROI around every patient. Even if one is completely selfish about the matter, a public basic healthcare system is good from a disease control standpoint. It is a form of national security that we don’t have sick and infectious masses.As for same-sex marriage, here is what I find amazingly confused by those opposed. They seem to think that if we make same-sex marriage illegal, we are going to somehow stop people from being gay. It is utter nonsense. Putting aside the fact that my view on the world is “Live and Let Live” I think it is bordering on inept to think that just because a society doesn’t officially recognize a status or lifestyle that we are going to have any effect whatsoever on whether it happens or not. All one really ends up with is a government that erodes itself — it becomes out of phase with reality. It stops being “Of the people, for the people.”I can’t say for sure one way or another if Obama’s timing with this announcement was political strategy or not. Quite frankly, if it IS strategy, I actually think it is a clever one. The GOP is not the party it was. It was hijacked by the Christian Right during the first and only term of Bush-Quayle when VP Quayle started attacking Hollywood, specifically Murphy Brown, calling for the party to be a voice of morality and so-called “Family Values”. It escalated during the attempt to impeach/censure President Clinton and the GOP has never been the same since. It is now the puppet of a group that does not believe in social or spiritual freedom but rather one dogma, one moral code, and one definition of a civil union.The point is the GOP is not going to follow him down this rabbit hole. They’ve CAN’T say “Us too” because it will immediately disenfranchise most of their constituencies. They have to hold their stance and I think a growing number of people are like you and me, Fred, and a lot of people here on AVC that are more progressive and view the opposition to it as simply out of step with what the people want. Sorry for this long post and thanks for indulging my little sandbox talk here but where I am going with this ironically is to refer you to a really great talk I saw on this issue in 2009. Michael Sandel, professor of law at Harvard University put together an incredible series some years ago called JUSTICE and in one of the episodes they looked at the issue of Same-Sex Marriage. His audience is full of the best and brightest of Harvard students learning the building blocks of the art of “legal argument.” The are sharpening their skills as logicians. And it is refreshing to look at this issue from a purely legalistic standpoint and exploring it from all sides. I still regard it as one of the most open-minded explorations of the issue I’ve ever seen. I’m happy to say I found the episode uncut on YouTube so I highly recommend you check it out:, I am in California — a politically schizophrenic place that has both camps arguing this point fervently into a deadlock and I wish we could get it together like New York has. California has always prided itself in being one of the most progressive states in the Union and quite frankly I think we’re making fools of ourselves right now by lagging behind on this issue.This is supposed to be the “Land of the Free” and somehow we’re not acting that way. Words do not suffice to express how much that pisses me off right now.

        1. MikeSchinkel

          @robert_holtz:disqus Well said.

          1. Robert Holtz

            Thank you @mikeschinkel:disqus . A little over an hour after I posted that, having walked away for a while, my inner-voice was telling me I had possibly overdone it; expressing so many of my personal views in a single burst like that.I try in my professional life to keep my political and social opinions somewhat muted because I don’t care to alienate anyone (particularly myself). But somehow Fred’s courage on this issue in front of all of AVC rubbed off on me and suddenly Pandora’s box was wide open.Thanks for chiming in with the encouragement, Mike. I appreciate that more than words can convey.

    3. LissIsMore

      Well put. I think Obama is conflicted about this position. He has said this publicly before. His hand was forced on this by public statements by members of his staff, particularly a recent comment by Biden.But more to the point, I agree with this post that government should not be involved in this private matter. It more intrusion of the State into personal matters. Who I spend my time with and how that relationship manifests itself is not any concern of the State.

      1. raycote

        I also agree on the issue of state intrusion into personal matters but still that begs the question;Where has all the GOP outrage against the government’s long standing interference into the contractual legal affairs of heterosexual married couple been hiding all these years?Or is it only state interference when it ruffles conservative sensibilities?

        1. LissIsMore

          Yes. Republicans are guilty of being two-faced on the “state intrusion” issue. A case in point is a comment that was made vis a vis Santorum’s rants against the dangers of Sharia Law taking hold in the US. How then he turns around and wants to impose Christian Biblical law regarding marriage (monogamous and heterosexual) – which is the same wolf in different clothes.This is why the State needs to stay out of these issues. It just imposes one groups philosophical or moral constructs on others. Dangerous stuff.

          1. MikeSchinkel

            @Michael Liss – Very well said! Modern day self-styled “Conservatives” forget that freedom of religion is as much there to protect them from having another religion dictate to them as it is to keep secularists from having to follow their religion.Seriously, look through history to see how often any given religious organization splits based on “doctrinal differences”; as one tiny example read this and see if you can keep track of all the splits!… (I read about Quakers recently because of Fred’s “Tolerance and Prosperity” post.)So as Social Conservatives strive to enshrine “God’s law” into our US laws they should be careful what they wish for because soon “God’s law” might not be exactly how they would interpret it.That said, I’ve been thinking lately that maybe we should just go with it all. Social Conservatives attack homosexuality on biblical grounds, yet it wasn’t mentioned in the commandments. I think we start a campaign to be true to the bible and the 10 commandments; we should start with making adultery a crime. Surely adultery is a worse crime than homosexuality because it overtly destroys marriage and affect the children, far more than homosexuals can, right?So let’s lobby for this: anyone married caught having sexual intercourse with someone other than their spouse should serve a minimum of 1 year in prison. Surely if outlawing homosexuality is good then outlawing adultery is even better!Oh wait! This won’t do. Too many of our lawmakers and power players in politics and religion are having affairs, Surely they’ll never even consider this idea, which for Social Conservatives has so much merit…

          2. bsoist

            “freedom of religion is as much there to protect them”This is what frustrates me about the “secularism” debate or the “they are removing God from society” types. About a month ago, I wrote something about the Ahlquist case and I called it “What if it weren’t your kind of religion?”

          3. MikeSchinkel

            @bsoist:disqus Which is a variant of one of my favs, the majority demographic claiming to be persecuted. It’s all about attacking what the overdog finds offensive these days.Reminds me of the archetypical 2 year old who can still only conceptualize themselves being the center of the world from which all else emanates.

          4. bsoist

            Santorum was the most dangerous man in the race, in my opinion, for just that reason. I want no part of his flavor of Christianity!

          5. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          6. LissIsMore

            Yeah. And that works well if you are the group writing the laws. If you happen to be part of another group – not so much.

    4. Luke Chamberlin

      Marriage grants citizenship rights – are you really saying the government does not need to be involved in this? Or are you saying that marriage should not grant any benefits at all?

      1. kidmercury

        i don’t see why marriage should grant any benefits. or why marriage should even be defined by the state.

        1. ShanaC

          I’m with you on that, I prefer contractual civil unions. Still, marriage is a long standing popular custom in the US and is the way we tend to measure long term stable relationships.

          1. Cam MacRae

            Not only do I prefer contractual civil unions, I prefer fixed term contractual civil unions.

          2. raycote

            OUCH !

          3. Cam MacRae

            Makes a lot more sense than ’til death do us part.

          4. Guest

            I don’t know about that Cam,Now, I agree that its hetrosexuals that are making a mockery of the whole purpose and intent of “marriage.”But I have been in a “marriage” (we had our own ceremony and skipped the church thing altogether and have no marriage certificate) but we both agreed that “we were settling down for life” and have stuck by our vows for over 25 years.It was just our words to each other and we are half way to “til’ death do us part….”

          5. Cam MacRae

            Today the length of time one can expect to be married (all marriages) is about 27 years, the expected length of a marriage that will end in divorce is approximately 14 years. It doesn’t seem all that controversial to ask people to renew their contracts after say 7 years. 25 years – congratulations! I wish you many, many more!

          6. Guest

            Cam,Politically I don’t really fit in the conservative/liberal matrix. If you asked me if I was religious I would say yes but I have not been in a church, outside of funerals and or marriages in over 30 years.Personally, I do “renew” my marriage vows once a year, its called our anniversary and I also “renew” my beliefs on a lot of things on an annual basis.I totally agree with the concept of “renewal” and or reconfirmation, but the reality is a vast majority of people would see this as nothing more than an occasion to give and receive gifts. As they say, “You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make them drink….” that pretty much sums up my opinion on the idea of renewals. Marriage is hard work and sadly, most hetrosexuals have come to view marriage as an entitlement for being hetrosexual.

          7. Cam MacRae

            So I’ve simultaneously re-architected marriage AND delivered retail from its slump?! Where do I pick up my check?

          8. Guest

            Become a lobbyist and create a start up and you have tapped into the mega billion idea! 🙂

          9. panterosa,

            Cam, The best I heard was on a date a year ago. Relationships should be like leases with renewal terms of every 5 years (or similar). Makes a lot of sense to me.

          10. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          11. panterosa,

            That all depends. Crappy marriages make for crappy relationship models, especially because marriage is supposed to be better choice than divorce/single parent, but when it’s tense and loveless that’s what kids learn.On he other hand, partners who need not co-habitate to raise children can pursue their own happiness and hopefully participate in childcare in a way that suits the kids and each parent.Together is not automatically better. Children being raised in stable loving environments is what matters. Ask many women if they’d stay if they didn’t need the money, you might be surprised by the answer.

          12. ShanaC

            Why? I’m a romantic at heart, and I’d like to think LTRs are meant to last at some point 🙂

          13. Cam MacRae

            Fixed term doesn’t imply not lasting, it implies renewal.

          14. JamesHRH

            Andrei Kirilenko (NBA player) made headlines when his wife told a reporter that he had a once a year free pass. She said, ‘so many beautiful women throwing themselves at him, it is better to let him out once a year.’Best part of going public with that clause of Andrei’s LTR contract – he was playing in Salt Lake at the time!

          15. Cam MacRae


        2. Luke Chamberlin

          You just made a lot of enemies in the mail order bride industry.

      2. Brandon Marker

        Marriage is no more than a tax write-off 😉

    5. Tom Labus

      This is really very well said and I find myself agreeing with you today!!!

    6. ErikSchwartz

      1. Obama just can’t win with some people. This was the right thing to do. Did it take too long? Yes.2. Can you imagine the hysteria we’d be hearing if Obama had made an emancipation proclamation style announcement forcing the states to accept gay marriage?3. You’re right.

      1. andyswan

        2. You mean like he did on healthcare?

        1. ErikSchwartz

          Exactly.You bitch about him when he does it one way and you bitch about him when he does it the other way. It is starting to seem that it is more about him and less about what he says or does. The dems did exactly the same thing to GWB.

          1. andyswan

            @ErikSchwartz:disqus I never bitched about O showing restraint or leaving ANYTHING up to the states. Certainly not in this case.I just pointed out that this wasn’t nearly the bold stand that his “hope”ful supporters are making it out to be.

          2. ErikSchwartz

            @andyswan:disqus Leaving motivation, timing, and politics out of this.Simple question:Is Obama right about this?

          3. andyswan

            @ErikSchwartz:disqus I *think* so. And I think his “hope”ful supporters are wrong.I suppose time will tell. If he’s saying that two individuals should be able to commit to each other…then of course he’s right. If he’s saying that government has a role in that, then he’s wrong. We’ll see where he ends up. Kind of difficult to separate the politics from the intentionally vague statements of a human canvas.I think he’s saying the exact same thing that Dick Cheney said in 2009, but I can’t be sure until there are policy decisions on the table….can you?http://voices.washingtonpos

          4. ErikSchwartz

            @andyswan:disqus I totally agree that left has projected way more wishful thinking on Obama than there is any evidence for. Part of the reason for that is the right has done exactly the same thing. The right has painted Obama way further to the left than anything Obama has ever said or done.The left takes that portrait and runs with it. The right likes to call Obama a “commie” and the hard left wants a “commie”.For me the policy decision is simply that neither the states nor the feds have any business regulating marriage at all.

          5. CJ

            Yet as long as religion exists in this country with any semblance of power in the affairs of men, the state will be involved in marriage.

          6. Kirsten Lambertsen

            @andyswan said: “I suppose time will tell. If he’s saying that two individuals should be able to commit to each other…then of course he’s right. If he’s saying that government has a role in that, then he’s wrong.”I think you’re fundamentally wrong here. The government has a an important role to play in *protecting* the rights of individuals, especially those in a minority. The majority is not always right. This is why the right has had to spin the issue as protecting the rights of heteros to be the only ones to marry. Somehow their rights are being infringed? It’s the only way they can justify their argument.I mean, can you imagine leaving it up to the states whether not interracial couples could marry? How about if we decide in Vermont that only Buddhists can marry? For Pete’s sake, the country was founded on the principle of protecting the rights of individuals (who at that time happened to be certain Christians).

          7. Pete Griffiths

            So in your opinion was it or was it not right for the Federal government to override the southern states with respect to race?

          8. CJ

            I disagree Andy. I think it is a stand because it’s the President of the United States endorsing gay marriage. That still counts for something, though his caveat of state’s rights remains, the power of the office overshadows it.

          9. andyswan

            Reasonable. It is definitely something

    7. ShanaC

      Historically we’ve tried. I was born after the Love Decision, still, for years we had racially based marriage licences. (which impact IRS tax code)It is a state’s issue as long as people don’t move. And by custom, my marriage should be recognized by any other state. The question is what if for the same reason the Love’s marriage wasn’t recognized a GBLT marriage isn’t recognized?In that I agree with your last paragraph, but practically we need to figure out how to do that.

    8. raycote

      Can we assume given that last paragraph that you would support a move by the GOP to speak out against the continued unnecessary expansion of big government into people personal lives by call for states to stop pilling on any more state legislated restrictions on peoples personal relationship choices ?

    9. LE

      Individuals left free to make their own relationships, decisions, commitments and contracts without government intrusion is the right answer.A little to absolute in thinking. There are lines that we need the government to draw.Take the age of consent. Which varies depending on the place and the government:”Laws vary widely, and while most polities set the age of consent in the range 14 to 18, with the average age being 16,[2] outliers with ages of consent as low as 12 and as high as 20 exist.”And even that varies depending apparently upon the age of the older person engaging and varies by country.All this of course has nothing to agree with whether I agree or disagree with same sex marriage (it’s ok with me) but simply saying the government has no rights to get involved in things that certain people (as show by states decisions) seem to feel differently about I don’t agree with.

      1. JamesHRH

        Yup – there are people that think 12 yo girls should be allowed to marry 48 year old men. Who might also be the girl’s grandfather.

    10. Eleanor Pierce

      It’s a little naive to suggest that government/public policy has no place in personal relationships. Laws have been made, and must be made, to either deny or protect the individual’s right to decide issues of legal importance, including inheritance, medical care, taxes, etc.

      1. MikeSchinkel

        @twitter-285112510:disqus; Great comment, exactly! The USA is governed by law and the government must be involved as long as there are legal considerations based on immediate family, next of kin, inheritance, taxation and more. To say government shouldn’t be involved is an immature stance that reveals either a willful or an actual ignorance of the huge number of legal precedences that would have to be unraveled to “get government out of marriage”, and the upheaval it would cause. Only a true anarchist could really want to see that happen.

      2. kidmercury

        all of that can fall under contract law, there is no need for marriage law too.

        1. JamesHRH

          priority level on this one Kid?Although, admittedly, you have proposed an elegant solution.

        2. Pete Griffiths

          Marriage is a contract and has important contractual implications. It is not simply an emotional or religious commitment.

          1. kidmercury

            i agree marriage is a contract — so why don’t people (gay, hetero, whatever) just draw up a contract and sign it? sure, maybe getting married gives you a default contract based upon marriage laws in the jurisdiction, but whoever wants to co-habitat or start a family or whatever can establish their own contractual relationship.

          2. Pete Griffiths

            For the same reason that the law constrains other contracts. It would be perfectly possible for me to draw up a contract in which I agree to give you $50 and you agree to kill someone. But the fact that there is a ‘contract’ does not make it something that should be exempt from overarching legal and moral principles. And yes, the whole point is that it provides a default contract. That is the point of a huge amount of law – that it provides a settled default framework.

          3. ShanaC

            because it is easier to do things with an assumed contract, and modify later with the paper one. A basic marriage comes with certain rights and obligations assumed, if you want to change it, you need a prenup (or a paper one)It isn’t a bad way to go either, makes knowing what the contractual marriage is very easy to understand.

          4. leigh

            Showing up late to this 400 thread party –but here is the most important contract IMO.Focus on making your “partner/husband/wife/whatever” happy. They in turn, should focus on making you happy.Best contract I’ve ever agreed to and it was no more then a life long verbal agreement that I try to live up to every day 🙂

          5. fredwilson


      3. Otto

        It’s a little naive to put government/public policy on such a high pedestal.

      4. andyswan

        You’re one click on LegalZoom’s “most popular” from solving this for yourself.



        1. Robert Holtz

          You tell ’em Grimmy! 😀

    11. Kirsten Lambertsen

      @andyswan I think your predictions remain to be seen, no? But I’ll give you points for sticking your neck out with your opinion.I think Fred and you both deserve credit for openly stating your opinion in this climate of “don’t express your politics on Facebook if you ever want to work again.” In this devolved age of 2012, that’s actually an act of courage.Even if Obama is just appealing to his core, I think he will LOSE supporters that he previously had (not sure he’ll gain any that he didn’t have already). There are plenty of people who support him who do not believe in equal rights for homosexuals. So he will pay a price. And I think he deserves a little credit for taking that risk in the new 1950’s.I’ll tell you though, with these hot button issues, the two parties both have exactly what they want: a house divided. It keeps us from thinking about the fact that about 98% of Congress are multimillionaires. We might as well rename it the House of Lords.

      1. andyswan

        Good comment. Although I see nothing shocking about the idea that people tend to select successful people for leadership positions…

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          Thank you. You get more points now for being a cool-headed debater! I won’t start a whole new debate about campaign finance 😉

      2. ShanaC

        where is my house of commons, dammit.

  14. reece

    political implications aside, i’m with Frank… it is great to work towards that normalcy and this is a good step in the right direction

  15. Jen Berrent

    I do not think this was a political windfall for Obama – upside is potential increase in fundraising but downside is loss of votes and support by churches and other grassroots organizations.Besides many other points, there is one big federal and economic issue – the estate tax spousal exemption. When one spouse dies the other spouse does not need to pay tax on inherited property. This is particularly relevant with a home. If a same sex couple buys a home and lives there for years, when one partner dies the other is taxed on the 50% that she just inherited. There are ways to structure around this but no perfect solutions.

  16. RacerRick

    I don’t care for President Obama. But I like that he came out in support of gay marriage. It took guts, whether it is the politically incorrect or correct thing to do.

  17. panterosa,

    I had news of this yesterday from a gay friend. I have many gay friends since I work in art/design, and I am happy if same sex partners choose to marry they have more recognition which supports this choice.I am happily divorced. Were I to do over that portion of my life, I’m not sure I’d marry again. I’d like to push the argument a little deeper than just gay marriage and talk about unmarried partners – I wish they had more rights. Many partners don’t want to marry and still they have lives together and children. I wish there were better options for that in terms of rights. Perhaps that could be next on the agenda.

    1. ShanaC

      Yes, the european model is not well supported in the US. We tend to not support good childcare enough to make for a good like for everyone…

      1. panterosa,

        Shana, exactly. For some reason in Europe it is not a given you will marry, so marriage is left to those wanting it. Partnerships exist in many forms and seem to survive healthily and productively, including with children. The childcare in Europe also makes the break up of partnerships easier for those who are no longer wanting to stay together. SInce mostly it is women taking the children the childcare supports them through what otherwise might be an unpleasant experience emotionally by removing the financial sting.When the US moves beyond it’s untenable Puritan ethics I will be prouder to be an American.

        1. MikeSchinkel

          @panterosa:disqus +1 to that last sentence!

        2. LE

          “childcare supports them through what otherwise might be an unpleasant experience emotionally by removing the financial sting.”I guess if you believe (not saying you do with that “you” btw) that people should be able to have as many children as they want and then it becomes “my” problem. Which is not the same as saying “we should do what China does” (you see there is an in between position on things).I thought in advance how many children I wanted to have and whether I would be able to support them. It’s very clear that many people out there don’t do that. They have as many children as they can and then it becomes their neighbors problem and a societal thing.It’s another example of the government bailing people out for things that impact everyone.

          1. ShanaC

            it is in the government’s interest to create a new tax base and a growing economy. Having policies that make it easier to have kids seems to be an existentially right thing to do so the population doesn’t shrink…

          2. panterosa,

            I disagree it’s about numbers of children. It’s about how the European countries view early childhood care for their citizens. We have a sink or swim mentality which I dislike.

    2. LE

      “unmarried partners – I wish they had more rights. Many partners don’t want to marry and still they have lives together and children.”I think that this would work against woman actually. Since men, in general, have an easier time as they age getting a new mate. I can see men taking advantage of that if it becomes the norm.You know the saying. “Why buy the cow if the milk’s for free?”And another one: “Shit or get off the pot”.

      1. panterosa,

        Actually, many women who are separated or divorced don’t want another partner, they enjoy raising kids with one voice. That depends on the economics of course, which I know all to well being divorced. Still, as my mother replied, after being widowed, to the question whether she would marry again – “Why would I marry again? To have another person leave the cap off the toothpaste?”

  18. PJSweeney

    Fred – I will not comment either way on same-sex marriage what I take issue with is your applauding Obama’s behavior.He promised the gay and lesbian community during his first campaign (when garnerig support) he would stand by them. In the 2007 Presidential Debates he said he would support civil unions (debate transcript… ) but it took him four years – and an impending election to decide on the issue.If one of your CEO’s said during his pitch that he was going to execute on certain goals or made certain promises then you funded him – and it took him four years to fulfill those promises I think you would have found a new CEO by now. Obama’s timing has nothing to do with his beliefs or courage it is all for an election year – consider it good marketing and bad leadership.

    1. fredwilson

      the CEOs of our portfolio companies are not politiciansthankfullyi think you need to evaluate Obama in the context of what he is and what he does for a living

    2. Matt A. Myers

      Politics these days in the US especially is heavy on the marketing – you can end up changing more then. If he did it too soon he may have completely destroyed his potential for being re-elected.

  19. Frank Smythe

    Is that your best response Fred? Go ahead and dance with the lies Fred on same sex marriage. I know what I stand for – and God, not some idealistic church or stance, made the law.Common sense Fred is genius in its working clothes – Real Godly knowledge, likeeverything else of the highest value, is not to be obtained easily. It must beworked for, studied for, thought for, and, more than all, it must be prayedfor.One of the sad & dangerous signs of our times is how folks on the self entitled idiot left are enthralled by words, without bothering to look at realities behind those words.

    1. fredwilson

      preach to me. i rejected people who do that to me a long time ago. and i reject you doing it to me too.

    2. markslater

      i am left wondering why we tolerate people like you. really. i think i might be having sinful thoughts here because my distant memory is telling me that tolerance appears alot in that book of yours.

    3. Otto

      I strongly disagree with Frank Smythe and I think he is very mistaken about some things here, but the reaction to him is why I’m against up or down comment voting. Regardless if you agree or disagree the point is to discuss and even argue sometimes, not block someone with passive-aggressive nay votes on a blog.

      1. kidmercury

        yes! i was about to make the same comment, glad you did

        1. raycote

          Down voted just for comedy – Sorry couldn’t resist

      2. bsoist

        Discussion is one thing, but calling people names deserves a down vote, not a response.@kidmercury:disqus calling Obama a liar is fair game, in my opinion, because he’s an elected official. We should not be calling each other liars.

        1. Otto

          Name calling is rarely a good thing, but isn’t down voting a response too? Why hide him from everyone else? Let his bad forum behavior stand out. Trust others, engaged or not, to see that it’s inappropriate.

          1. bsoist

            As far as I can tell, the comments never disappear completely, so I’m okay with down voting, but as I’ve already said elsewhere, I don’t like it being anonymous. I understand the argument either way. On the one hand, down votes should keep people from speaking without thinking, or calling names, etc. On the other, it may also scare people into not speaking their down voting is a response It’s not the same thing exactly. In a previous comment you wrote that the point is to discuss or even argue sometimes. My point is that some lines of discussion need to be ignored, but I do not mind the down vote as a means to moderate comments.

      3. fredwilson

        i agree with that. i just upvoted his comment so i can continue to appear in this thread.

  20. Ruth BT

    Regardless of the spin you put on this, I agree Fred, this was the right thing to do. Hopefully this might filter across the pond and our female, unmarried but happily attached Prime Minister might take note.

  21. Kevin C

    Great post, Fred. Despite the bunch of naysayers who have responded here, the President did the right thing. The fact that it took some time for his opinion to evolve isn’t a reason to fault him. He might not have won election in 2008 with that position and he certainly took a risk by sharing his position now. There’s plenty to fault the man for, but I wouldn’t put his announcement yesterday on the list.

  22. Chris Phenner

    I see I don’t-know-how-many ‘Process Comments’ that speak above to (i) why Fred is writing about Obama’s statement on same-sex marriage, (ii) why Obama made his statement, (iii) whether Obama is a good/bad President and (iv) whether the government should be involved. Rinse, lather, repeat.I think Fred’s post is about articulating a view with courage. And I agree that President Obama did that. And I agree that folks of [anysex] orientation should be allowed to MARRY under the law, and that the 30 states banning this are ass backwards.And that the government has a legitimate role in clarifying who has what rights under what conditions — this helps to settle disputes and having everything end up in court. A friend with a same-sex partner for 15+ years told me the story of his partner leaving him a ‘Dear John’ letter while he hopped a plane to Europe, leaving my friend with their two adopted children. Is anyone seriously saying the law should not arbitrate that? In the case of this couple, my friend became a single parent overnight without recourse.If you commented on this thread and your comment does NOT explicitly state your view of either (i) same-sex marriage or (ii) Obama’s courage in making his statement, I think you’ve missed the point and that such a comment is cowardice — step up.Nicely posted, Fred.

    1. fredwilson


    2. kidmercury

      52% of americans support gay marriage according to a march 2012 poll from ABC:…so, in other words, obama supports the majority view. at least for now, he has of course flip-flopped on the issue (a hallmark of a lack of conviction).

      1. JLM


        1. Skinner Layne

          The ABC poll doesn’t mention its methodology explicitly, but from reading it it is pretty clear that it was a poll of registered voters, not likely voters, meaning that it is almost useless in predicting any political outcomes. The internal numbers of the poll show that white voters 18-29 voted against Prop 8 by a margin of 67-33 and Latino voters 18-29 voted against Prop 8 by a margin of 59-41. Young people don’t vote in actual elections, whereas old people do. That effect is even more pronounced in non-Presidential, non-General elections.In the 2010 midterm congressional elections, for example, 18-29 year olds comprised only 11% of those who voted, whereas the 45+ age group comprised 67% of voters. Conversely, the 2008 census shows that nearly 20% of the population is 18-29 and the 45+ crowd is about 38% of the general population.… (unfortunately you have to download the Excel file to see the data)Consequently, polls of registered voters are likely to be good leading indicators of policy, but poor lagging indicators of it.

          1. JLM

            At the end of the day, the only poll that really matters is the ballot box.While I appreciate the attempt to dissect the polls, it is becoming progressively more pointless and less convincing. Only Rasmussen is even close to being consistently reliable.The methodology of polls is at an all time low as to reliability if for no other reason than “caller ID” which allows a targeted individual to reject any and all polling calls.Nonetheless, the Prop 8 and Amendment No 1 results speak volumes.This is just a discussion as to arithmetic and I do not intend to proselytize for any particular position.

  23. markslater

    this is the kind of thread that i could lurk on for hours. I’m sure JLM is furiously typing s we speak……i have work to do 🙁

  24. moses

    If you don’t think the president’s announcement (and Biden’s and Duncan’sn in the days before) were stage managed, you’re crazy. I guarantee the campaign did the polling, realized O couldn’t win the bigoted South anyway, and opted to fire-up gay fund-raisers and young people. A bit cynical? Yes. But nothing in politics is pure, and this was certainly an amazing moment for those of us who believe in justice and fairness for everyone.

    1. ShanaC

      Virginia is in play….

    2. raycote

      I also thought that was amusingly transparent.Well staged political theatre but a good call nonetheless.

  25. JamesHRH

    With the addition of sex & religion, today’s post cracks 1000 comments.I got $5 on that for up to 20 takers!

    1. Tom Labus

      Toss in economics and you’d be there!

    2. Rohan

      BREAKING: Contrarian Canadian Entrepreneur inciting Gambling on Popular Blog. DEATH of Good Values hastened..

      1. JamesHRH

        he he.Rhetorical post obviously, if only for the reason that I am competitive enough to post 737 posts myself, to win $100!!!

    3. ShanaC

      doubt it, we’ve never broken the 1000 comment barrier. The closest was the occupy wall street post.

    4. Matt A. Myers

      People hold their tongue back re: gay rights, probably just as much as on the issue of abortion.Not letting ‘them’ become married is so we can keep it for ‘us.’ Marriage is just a word. Just get rid of the word marriage. Civil unions for everyone. *shrug* Having this “special” ceremony with its own special word just creates / reenforces the dichotomy of differences.If a person’s end goal / intent is to keep sexual preference / parter preference is something that includes contempt then keeping marriage as some exclusive club is the direction to go…If you want people to feel equal, as they are, then you need to eliminate language that allows/creates dichotomies to exist.

    5. raycote

      I’m waiting of a post on the merits of Unions;-))

  26. EmilSt

    I support the President on this. What about gey couples adopting children?

  27. John Revay

    “I’m with the President on this one.”Simply – Me To!#21stcenturyPresident

  28. Carl Rahn Griffith

    It’s staggering that in 2012 – 2012 – that this right still has to be ‘defended’ and fought for. So sad that we still have so many negative forces in our society and government. This could be a defining moment for Obama. Loved Bloomberg immediately echoing the same sentiments, also.

    1. Dan

      I see the “issue” of gay marriage eroding over the next 20 years. As the generations of 50+ year olds die, so does this issue. (no offense)I’ve grown up in a very strict Catholic family (brother is a priest, homeschooled, 6 kids, yadda yadda). For the adults, gay marriage, along with abortion is a defining issue. When my young cousin came out last year, I was truly worried about how the family would respond – there was no need. Love is still everywhere.I don’t meet many people, even fundamentalist christians, under 30 who think allowing gay marriage will destroy this country. Most agree marriage is a right that should be extended to any committed partners who want it. This sentiment holds for my friends who themselves abstain from sex before marriage – this isn’t an issue of morality, it is a problem with acceptance.

      1. JamesHRH

        Dan, I have been arguing that this generation (esp. 65+) deserves to hold marriage as between man and a woman.I struggle to see why civil unions & marriages cannot be equal under the law, but with different labels, if only in deference to that generation of people who fought WWII & would ask this to be so.Personally, I struggle to see marriage as a right.Certainly, you have the right to love who you want (assuming they love you back – different issue there 😉 and to make a life with them.But, its hard to see marriage as ‘inalienable’. Its just not that fundamental.I worked in a city of <200,000 people (in the 1990’s), in the media business, with a guy named Bob. His Dad had been a local on-air personality – he grew up in the biz. Classic behind the scenes media guy: evil / cynical sense of humour, wicked smart, generally liked his job & did it v well (OK, that made him an outlier in the media biz).Lived in the ‘burbs with his partner. I never thought much about his sexual orientation, he never talked about it (sex talk @ work never a good plan), he was reasonable open about his life (I never sensed he was concerned about bias or prejudice).As far as I knew, Bob and his partner enjoyed all the rights under the law that my wife and I do, as spouses. He did not seem to need to be married. He knew where he stood and who he was. So did everyone he knew.I got married mostly out of tradition and because it would have put my mother in her grave, nearly immediately, if I had chosen otherwise. The legal implications also suited the commitment I was looking to make – but a civil union would have done the trick too.I don’t think the gay rights movement comes off particularly well in their neediness here.It is kind of like there is this infrastructure of activism that has succeeded and now needs something to do. A bit like unions.

        1. raycote

          I get your point but I’m guessing it is more about the emotional celebration and public recognition of one’s partnership, love and commitment. Marriage is an extension of that sense of community and belonging that is inherently human.Some feel a need for that public community recognition more that others. Mothers always want the best for you my mom was the same way.

          1. bsoist

            That’s exactly how I see it. Sure, it might not mean anything to some people, but a lot of people dream of falling in love and getting married.

      2. ShanaC

        That would not happen in my family, or a number of families in my neighborhood.The under 30 crowd isn’t large enough to make good, we need more people to sign off that this is ok.

        1. Dan

          Shana, which part wouldn’t happen in your family?Agreed the under 30 crowd isn’t enough, even when coupled with the larger group of over 30 yr olds who do support it. Unfortunately, I think this is an issue that will only disappear with time. As the population begins to change over, this issue fades. It’s different from the other major “religion in politics” debate (abortion), which I don’t see being a generational thing.

          1. ShanaC

            The I’ve grown up in a very strict Catholic family (brother is a priest, homeschooled, 6 kids, yadda yadda). For the adults, gay marriage, along with abortion is a defining issue. When my young cousin came out last year, I was truly worried about how the family would respond – there was no need. Love is still everywhere.Not everyone believes in unconditional love that way. My parents have had extreme issues about me and my brother and who we date based off of religion. We both happen to be straight, but I think they would cut us off if we had come out as gay….Not everyone has awesome family. Not every place is awesome that way.(note: I respect and love my parents despite this. I don’t agree with them though)

  29. John@RemodelingBIBLE

    I think andyswan’s comment just summed it all up, my friends. Now where is the LIKE button when you need one?

    1. ShanaC

      it turned into the upvote.

  30. John@PGISelfDirected

    a last chance attempt at turning the tide of voters in his favor perhaps?

  31. Tom Labus

    These are personal and private matters that have devolved into politics where anything can happen and usually does for the worse.There is a frightening element to the harshness of the far right on this issue. But bombing the shit out of a country for personal whim is just fine.Everyone should retreat to neutral corners on this one. There is other stuff to deal with.

    1. raycote

      Everyone should retreat to neutral corners on this one. There is other stuff to deal withThere is a lot of GOP political money that will make sure that doesn’t happen !

      1. Otto

        It’s their only chance to win.

      2. Tom Labus

        The GOP (of late, imposters all) will always opt to toss a log on a raging fire if it can cause enough damage.

  32. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    Just say “Hooray Mr. President” OR “Two thumbs Up to Obama”This is about courage to stand-up for tolerance though he might loose some vote (the umbilical cord for the next term) …. not about why he did it?2-thumbs up to the American President.

  33. William Mougayar

    It is sad that this issue is being made a political one which will sway votes one way or the other. Voting for a President should be about her/his holistic track record, what he did or didn’t do,- not about polarized views like this one. 

    1. JamesHRH

      You are familiar with American politics, yes?;-)Big problem.

      1. William Mougayar

        Sadly so.

      2. Brandon Marker

        That is just politics. Everywhere. Humans are selfish. We need to be raised an groomed to look beyond our individual desires, and act on the greater good for society. Many of us are not lucky enough to be raised that way.

        1. raycote

          It my be a tad worse in the US but that is probably a function of the fact that their is generally more wealth to fuel the food fight.

          1. Brandon Marker

            That makes sense.

      3. raycote

        Very very funny – minimalist funny !

  34. Elia Freedman

    I can’t remember the source now but read a statement that surprised me. There has never been a social issue that a sitting President came out in favor of that did not come to pass.

    1. raycote

      Proving that presidents tend to have the political wit to sense which way the wind is blowing.What does this say about Mitt Romney’s presidential chances?Is there a predictive causal link buried here? 😉

  35. Brandon Marker

    My close family and friends are gay, I want nothing more than to see them live a life of complete openness, as I am able to live.I am confused by all of the people who were so hot about the Trayvon Martin case, and looking at it from a pure “he’s racist” POV. Then, these same people hear the announcement and say hell no to accepting homosexuality.Progressive thought is not a choice, it is a way of life. If you aren’t accepting everyone, and just fighting for one cause, I fear you are racist, discriminatory, etc. This will never change in America. This is not something we can educate. This can only be muffled by a larger population accepting everyone for who they are. The President accepting gays is a great step. The black president accepting gays, that is the American way at work.

  36. ShanaC

    There were discussions of in play states online recently. One of them was Virginia.I’m actually quite curious how this will play out in the polls. I’m personally tired of the culture wars that we’ve been going through – if we are going to go through culture wars, can’t it at least be about energy consumption or the 99% issue?Though I’m happy with the announcement. It means more weddings for me to go to 🙂

    1. raycote

      Good point!It seems to me that the national news media is really failing their public service mandate by not shinning a spotlight on who sponsors the money and political effects that push these red-herring culture war issues into the political stratosphere ?But then again the news media like the supreme court has been pretty well politicized into cheerleading camps.

      1. kidmercury

        in my opinion most people don’t know or care about real policy issues. cultural issues require very little education; they appeal to emotions. as the media and schooling system don’t offer any education, people flock to cultural issues because it is the only thing they can resonate with.

        1. raycote

          YUP !

        2. bsoist

          very well said

        3. JLM

          I agree with you more than you agree with yourself.President Obama wants to run on anything other than his actual policy results and record.The Republicans always win wedge issues. Always..

      2. ShanaC

        gah media. Sometimes I wonder.

  37. falicon

    I hate talking politics, but I feel compelled to point out to those that would argue against a legal right to marriage for any 2 U.S. citizens are not thinking about how many other ‘legal advantages’ come with marriage in the U.S. (ie. taxes, health care proxy, credit, etc.)From a personal point of view, I don’t think you ‘need’ marriage for two people to live, share, and experience their lives together…but because there are clear and evident ‘legal’ advantages to being married in the U.S., any couple – regardless of sex or anything else – should be allowed to get married in the eyes of the law if they so choose.Religion around this topic is something completely different…if a given church or faith wants to prevent gay marriage from occurring within their ranks…that is their choice and I actually see no problem with them making that choice (which isn’t to say I agree it, just that it’s their right to blindly segregate if they so choose).

    1. PhilipSugar

      I don’t see where people get the misguided notion that it is a tax advantage to be married. It most certainly is not.I know plenty of people that don’t get married for just this reason. As a matter of fact if you have a “traditional” marriage where one spouse stays at home and raises the kids if you are not married that person is eligible for all sorts of aid and tax credits. If one spouse makes a ton of money the other gets taxed at their marginal rate.I was talking to a gay couple about why would they ever really want to get married and they had one very good and compelling point and that was inheritance.Agree with your last paragraph.

      1. JamesHRH

        Removed to avoid embarrassment.

        1. PhilipSugar

          Not sure. Not a lawyer.The issue they had was family fighting inheritance during probate and they assured me that this happens. In any case why do I care what you do in your bedroom? I don’t want to know about you and you don’t need to know about me. Who the hell cares?Similar to my situation one half of the couple was a very successful businessman. The other made sure the household was kept in order and had sacrificed their career.Now in the case of my death it is very easy. All transfers to my wife. That is with or without a will (and you should definitely have one). There is no fight, there is no tax, there are no issues.In their case they felt it was much more complicated. The family can fight and they said they had seen families that had disavowed homosexual members fight when they knew there was a lot of money involved. This I believe, because when people say its about the principle they really mean its about the money.

          1. JamesHRH

            Love that last line.People who fight properly executed testamentary wishes are cretins.No will = not caring enough about people you are supposed to care a lot about. Totally agree.Everyone should know about me, especially in the….can’t even type that with a straight face 😉

        2. JLM

          One can bequeath anything to another by virtue of a will subject to estate and inheritance laws which are not impacted by any form of relationship.You could leave everything you own to a cat, as an example.In addition, using the appropriate gift tax provisions, one can make enormous gifts to anyone during their lifetime..

          1. JamesHRH

            Sheesh – that comment of mine is asinine. I did go to law school, I swear.I was just totally lost in the ‘gay couple has an inherent inheritance issue’ paradigm.It was sadly enlightening to have Phil relate that relatives are ready to assert their beefs on this couple’s wishes.

          2. PhilipSugar

            Most states have a minimum that you have to give your wife. Texas does not….but she can live rent free in your house.Glad that was a work computer I did that search on…..

          3. JLM

            Your wife routinely reviews your posts to She knows what you are plotting.

          4. PhilipSugar

            Most states have a minimum that you have to give your wife. Texas does not….but she can live rent free in your house.Glad that was a work computer I did that search on…..

          5. PhilipSugar

            Most states have a minimum that you have to give your wife. Texas does not….but she can live rent free in your house.Glad that was a work computer I did that search on…..

          6. PhilipSugar

            Most states have a minimum that you have to give your wife. Texas does not….but she can live rent free in your house.Glad that was a work computer I did that search on…..

      2. LE

        “get the misguided notion”If your spouse earns zero income (or below a certain amount that off the top I don’t have time to find out) you pay less taxes if you are married.So the people that are saying that are looking at it through that lens. If your spouse earns income above a certain level obviously you pay more taxes if you are married.Simple example. You are in the 10% bracket if you earn 8700 per year and you are single. However if you are married you can earn 17400 per year.Higher up the advantage diminishes:Single: up to 178k at 28%Married: up to 217k at 28%Taking it one step further if you are self employed and your spouse is not and has a stable income you are at a big disadvantage.If your income fluctuates from year to year any income you make will be taxed at your spouses high tax rate.So if you only make 25k in one year but your spouse makes 388k you get taxed at 35%. If you were single (with deductions bla bla bla) you’d probably pay 10%.Oh ok I was so riled up by this I didn’t even read that you said this:”If one spouse makes a ton of money the other gets taxed at their marginal rate.”

      3. LE

        Interesting Delaware income tax almost as bad as NJ. I moved to NJ from PA where it’s a flat 3.07%. And of course in DE you have no sales tax.

        1. PhilipSugar

          Real estate tax is negible

  38. LE

    I am not sure about the political wisdom of that disclosure. But it takes courage to come out and say it, particularly in an election year in an country where 30 states have explicity banned it.Well it’s obvious they discussed the pros and cons of this more than just a passing discussion in the halls. So we can conclude it wasn’t an act of courage at all but something that needed to be done to avoid a worse fate of not doing it.

    1. raycote

      I’ve heard it said that Obama is a skilled campaigner ?

      1. JLM

        I think that President Obama is a fabulous “speech giver” but not really as good a campaigner.In the last election, he had the luxury of running against a corpse (OK, not quite dead but almost?) so he looked pretty good.I think he is quite tone deaf.As an example, his campaign just mentioned he is NOT taking a Martha’s Vineyard vacation this summer.Is that about the dumbest thing ever? To announce something that will attract attention to his past foibles? At least Clinton focus grouped his election year vacation destination and ended up on horseback..

        1. MikeSchinkel

          And this year Obama gets to run against a mannequin! Just sayin…;-)

          1. Tom Labus


          2. JLM

            Mitt Romney is a guy who can whip the crap out of a “To Do” list.He is not a guy to keep a “Wow, This Would Be Real Cool” list.He is a doer not a talker.The guy has lived at the Pay Window. His performance speaks for itself.A Romney presidency would be a refreshing change to On The Job training..

          3. JamesHRH

            While this is totally true, it ignores the fact that he has the opposite problem of Obama’s tin ear – people sense he has a tin heart.He is success for success’ sake. He crushed the Pay Window so bad he went into politics, not because he felt the call of service, but because he guessed that successful people with obscene wealth should chase success in politics next.People just don’t cotton to that.And just because we are talking religion, the Mormon angle has this bermuda triangle sort of feel. Especially when you hear that his missions were all about finding ways to success and being bred for success.At least Obama claimed he was an agent of change that arrived when people were calling for one – he was full of it, it turns out – but Mitt can’t even say that.Why do you want to be President Mr. Romney? ‘I have run out of other things to win at.’He loses and I think this is the reason.

          4. fredwilson

            “would be” not “will be” ?

          5. JLM

            I am taking bets on a Romney landslide. One of Jimmy Carter historic proportions. I will be glad to outline my logic.But still I would not stick my finger in anyone’s eye and proclaim the inevitable.We all still need a bit of wooing and courting..

        2. LE

          My favorite was Obama, only a few weeks into office, taking the time to meet with his children’s teachers and not putting his nose to the grindstone. To me that was hilarious. Imagine if you hired a new CEO to turn around your company (that was bankrupt) and he showed his priorities right from the start by taking time off for something that his wife could easily handle. All in addition to the fact that they are going to get a great education at Sidwell and quite frankly they don’t even need a great education (not sure that is coming out right but hopefully you get the point).I mean if he really cared about his children he would have chosen a well paying career in the private sector where his children would have plenty of opportunity (with the money he would make) and they wouldn’t be growing up in a fishbowl and targets for the rest of their lives.Becoming President is not the way you show you care about your children. Just like being a “hero” and risking your life for a stranger as much as popular culture supports that is not the way to show you care about your family.

    2. kidmercury

      well said LE. also a recent poll from ABC news that i linked to elsewhere in this thread said that 52% of the US population is pro-gay marriage. by that measure, obama has taken the populist stance — in addition to having more conversations on divisive cultural issues rather than meaningful things like war, poverty, unemployment, energy…..real policy stuff.

      1. Anthony Ortenzi

        I think that you have to consider the Venn diagrams here.Even if 52% of Americans support it, if 10% of Americans who support it would never vote for Obama and 10% of Americans who don’t support it would have voted for Obama but now won’t, even if it’s the populist stance on its face, it could still be political suicide.

        1. kidmercury

          sure, i think what you’ve said is a fair analysis. but it’s not like he’s taking a wild and contrarian stance here in the name of justice or a higher power or something. the public is divided and he flip flops. that is about as far from courage as one can get.

        2. JamesHRH

          As far as I can tell, Presidential campaigns are won in the middle (indept voters) and by the ground level machine.How many indept voters have this as a big time check mark? My guess is not many.So, the Dem base is pleased and the Rep base is annoyed. Zero change, unless you can accurately judge which base more energized by this announcement.

      2. LE

        “that 52% of the US population is pro-gay marriage”Ok so here is a question for you. When I was in high school (70’s) I remember having a class (it was a small liberal quaker school) and we had a “lesbian” visit. To this day I’ll never forget as she introduced herself “hello my name is Carol and I”m a Lesbian”. I also remember my perception of “blacks” back then which changed once I got to this high school which had blacks (called negroes in Philadelphia at the time) that were not the type you ran into in Philadelphia or saw on the nightly news.. Prior to that in elementary school (60’s) I remember the Alvin Ailey dance group visiting and someone yelled the “n” word and they left before performing. Sorry for the fork. Anyway:In my head I have a very clear reason (you won’t find it by doing a google most likely) as to the major cause of acceptance of gays and lesbians today.So what do you think is the major reason (and then I will give you my thought).

        1. kidmercury

          the major reason that more than half the US population supports gay marriage? i think because there are more openly gay people now, if i had to guess. i know a whole bunch of gay people, some of whom i would regard as close friends. so i know they are good people. i think most of the pro gay marriage crowd thinks “hey these people are cool and love each other, they should be able to get married.” to put it more simply, it’s more acceptable now — so more people know about it and support it.i’m interested in hearing your take.

          1. LE

            Very clear to me perception has changed because of portrayal in film, tv, mass media which has lead to many coming out of the closet. Gone are portrayals as flames and butch. In are people that anyone can relate to and love. I would die to have Andy Cohen as a brother in law.In the 80’s I had numerous employees that were gay and lesbian. None were out of the closet though. In fact I remember my very first employee who I recently googled and found that he was living in Hawaii. While it didn’t say that he was gay there he was posing with his partner.Back then many of those gays hadn’t come out of the closet (a little chicken and egg thing going on) so even though they were great employees (in fact two of my best employees ever were gay, one man, one woman) I didn’t really know that until I figured it out much later (when my gaydar was better developed and I was able to add other information to confirm).I’m not a believer in the binary theory of gayness. It’s quite obvious that there are many woman who are not lesbians who have lesbian or male like qualities and many men who are not gay who have female and gay like qualities but don’t get to the tipping point. I think this can actually be a huge advantage.

          2. JLM

            Much of contemporary discussion is simply invented.As a professional soldier for 6 years, I never had a passing thought as to the sexuality of any soldier under my command and never even had a passing conversation with any NCO about a soldier being a homosexual.It simply did not happen. Nor would I have particularly cared.I served with elite units that did dangerous stuff and I could not have cared less about any soldier’s sexual orientation when it came to doing his job.Much of the DADT issue is and was purely fabricated.More soldiers are discharged annually for flat feet than for sexual issues..

          3. LE

            “i know a whole bunch of gay people, some of whom i would regard as close friends. so i know they are good people.”That’s another important behavioral thing. As time marches on an entire group of people lack the brainwashing and bias of previous generations (which is near impossible to shake).I wasn’t raised with any bias toward woman and never saw them differently. It was never talked about in my family. I had sisters and felt we were all treated the same. When I went out in the world I quickly saw that other males weren’t raised the same. I actually got quite a bit of flack for dating professional woman some men actually would talk about how it was necessary for a woman to be subservient. They didn’t learn this from childrens books or cartoons. They learned it from their father or other male role models at an early age. So as that passes each generation becomes more accepting.

          4. JLM

            Objective fact and 31 elections indicate that a majority of Americans do NOT support gay marriage. Bear in mind, I personally care not a whit about the numbers.California Prop 8 — soundly defeated.NC Amendment No 1 — 61% oppose.The numbers do not lie..

  39. Lee Blaylock

    I couldn’t disagree with Fred more on this, but that’s what makes this country great. We can disagree and freely express our views in a civil manner (or at least should be able to!).I would simply hope that he sticks to helping all start ups succeed with his experience and wisdom in that arena. The great thing about blogs is it is his and he can freely write what he wants, but most people here come for the business advice and perspective, not social policy views.

    1. raycote

      True – still all work and no inter-play makes for a dull blog.Apparently Fred believes in the value of recess.

    2. Otto

      Yes, it’s nice that people like Fred can write freely. Too bad, in some states, same sex couples can’t associate freely with the same legal rights you have.

      1. JamesHRH

        not true, they have the same rights, just not the same label.

  40. Frank Smythe

    Wow Fred, I stand corrected. I didn’t realize you had these higher than mighty standards. And I would argue that the root of your bullying is exactly this – your victimized by my beliefs.The greatest challenge every person faces who stands up is finding the “guts” to risk their image, their reputation and perhaps their success in order to accomplish greatness. God’s commandments make me great. And if risking everything ultimately becomes the only way I can accomplish God’s greatness for me – so be it. I get this – you don’t.Now Fred, what do you really stand for?

    1. raycote

      Come again, I couldn’t quite follow that ?

      1. kidmercury

        lol me neither

    2. kidmercury

      enjoying observing your beef with fred, doubly so because i’m not 100% sure what it’s really about. there’s just been many mentions of God and intimations of knowledge of God’s intent, that’s about all i got out of it. i do think you are attacking fred more than he is attacking you so i will have give him the edge in this pointless beef

  41. rudy

    while I agree with your sentiments of gay marriage, don’t you honestly think that had less to do with gay rights and more to do to with shifting the topic of minds from the economy? Literally took a page from the repubs on this one, chose a subject that ‘dumbdowns’ the elections.I honestly believe that the only difference between romney and obama as president would be that romney will get us into another war…other than that theyre’ cut from the same cloth..

    1. kidmercury

      you don’t think obama would get us into another war? at his acceptance speech for the nobel peace prize (lol!) he said that most likely our children would not have a world without war. sounds like a determined warmonger to me! plus him and romney are both banker-funded, which means they are pro-deficit spending, which means they are pro war.

      1. falicon

        Nobody is pro-war, just like nobody is pro-abortion…some are just more accepting of it as a result of the ‘other’ agendas or motivations they have.

      2. JLM

        Right this second we have huge numbers of special operations forces deployed in Africa under the guise of being “advisors”. We are at war in Africa right now.You could probably conquer all of equatorial Africa with 100 good spec ops guys with a bit of artillery support and air cover..

        1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. ShanaC

            I hate the idea of science making violence cheap. 🙁

          2. JamesHRH

            Not a Ron Paul guy, GRIM?

        2. JamesHRH

          jeez, what would it take to make the AB OilSands a domestic asset?I don’t really want to know, BTW.

  42. bobmonsour

    As a very infrequent commenter here, I just wanted to chime in with my agreement with you on this Fred. I skimmed the comments, was sufficiently surprised (shouldn’t have been) by the vigor of the debate and will again just say that I too am in agreement with the president on this and will avoid any comment on the politics of it.

  43. Sam Grossberg

    Well said, Fred. Thank you for this post.

  44. Berkshire

    Let’s not forget that the President said he personally believes something but won’t push for a federal law to enact it. Instead he said he thinks this is a state issue. Suddenly, he’s a federalist??? While I agree with his personal belief on the issue having your hand forced is not courage.

  45. dux

    In terms of policy, you can’t make a rational argument for this. The west has been going through demographic implosion for decades and has made up for this by importing lower skilled/achieving immigrants. Japan, Russia, Italy and Greece are already going into a demographic death spiral. Encouraging homosexuality (and feminism, which procrastinates child rearing) are a one-two punch to western fecundity levels. Modern liberalism = Shakers in terms of fecundity (it is doomed to fail to reproduce itself and therefore oblivion). Further, by equating homosexuality = heterosexuality, you are confusing the hell out of children and creating additional social chaos and division in society. I realize that this is terribly unfashionable and unserious people will say “homophobe”, but “civil union” is the same thing as marriage, without the tax subsidy and the deliberate insult to those with traditional values (who do the hard work of bearing children without 7 figure incomes).

    1. MikeSchinkel

      You make interesting arguments for most of your post. Of course your arguments fly in the face of liberty as many of those people simply don’t want want to contribute to population growth. Your points are definitely of real concern for policymakers, but legislating baby might not end well, just ask Ceauşescu.And as for the insult to those with “traditional values”; what I find most insulting are self-styled “traditional values” who voters believe their way to be “morally superiors” and seek to legislate that others make the same choices they made; seems a bit too much like compensation to me.Besides; judge not, that ye be not judged. Right?

      1. dux

        The issue isn’t homosexuality, the issue is subsidy of homosexuality. Freedom to be gay is OK, todays issues are 1) indoctination of children to be gay, 2) subsidy of gays (tax and health benefits for gays) and 3) litigation rights (you shouldn’t fire me if you know what’s good for you).So, this has nothing to do with freedom, but the exact opposite: using the state to cater to well financed special interest’s sexual deviancy in exchange for that groups money and financial support. Further, if you study conservative views (edmund burke), these kinds of social revolutions endanger liberty by creating social chaos and threatening existing institutions that protect liberty in a society (notably traditional religious ones and marriage itself). So, from that viewpoint, encouraging homosexuality is cultural marxism (and that’s why marxists are all for it) because you are blowing up institutions that restrict the state, paving the way for socialism, etc., the antithesis of liberty (unless you define liberty as nihilism).As for gay marriage, there is a track record and it is disastrous. Gay divorce rates are through the roof (male gay relationships are revolving door). Civil unions achieve all that is necessary without the absurdity of gay marriage.As far as gay teenagers, this is the biggest laugh. The problem gay males have is finding boyfriends who don’t go hetero or who want to settle down. Gay marriage is a bill of goods sold to heteros who want to be gay, but best of luck having that normal family life and being gay, the odds are not on your side. So, the real victims are teen gay guys (and I know them and feel sorry for their horrendous lifestyle choice). For some, this isn’t a choice, and there is is a semi-plausible issue of having a “normal life”, but someone needs to explain to me why civil unions aren’t good enough without the social chaos and subsidy of what is, objectively, an anti-social behavior that fails to address society’s singular imperative, child rearing.

        1. ShanaC

          My gay friends get married/have long term stable relationships (more stable than mine). I think you need to meet more gay people….

        2. MikeSchinkel

          @dux Who indoctrinates children to be gay?!? I think that is a fiction made up by the right.As far as I can tell their are a lot more Christians indoctrinating impressionable children into the fold (you’ve heard of mission trips? Evangelical outreach?) then there are Gays soliciting kids to be homosexuals. If I’m wrong, give me evidence of any such indoctrination that affects more than a 0.000001% of children on this earth?And how are gays tax and health benefits subsidized differently than straight folk? They are all citizens who were “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”So evidently your concern for litigation rights means you are pro-workplace discrimination, right? After all people of other races, other religions, the other sex, of different nation origin, older than you and with disabilities can threathen the same; they must all be problems too?Since you have an issue with well financed special interest groups I assume you staunchly oppose the NRA and the Pro-Life agenda too?Sexual deviancy? Constitutionally, your opinion doesn’t matter. Beyond protecting children from being molested, how is anyone’s sexual preferences anything for the US government to police or decide?”If I study conservative views (edmund burke)…” Srsly?!? Does that mean if I can get you to study Karl Marx you’ll become a communist? Pulease. Just become an ideologue publishes something doesn’t mean it’s a valid blueprint for society.Oh wait; I wrote about Karl Marx before I saw you made the ludicrous association between homosexuality and Marxism. Funny, seems that historical data doesn’t back your asserted causation between the two; it was criminalized in the USSR:…Who cares what the divorces rates for gays are? If I remember, the Declaration of Independence didn’t start with “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these areLife, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Unless of course divorce rates are through the roof for a group of men based on their sexual preference that a majority don’t want to have those rights.”It, of course, didn’t include that last sentence:…And since society’s singular imperative is child rearing can you please point to where in the USA’s founding documents, bill of rights or constitution it is stated to be so?Although many people state that sexual orientation is not a “choice”, as in “a horrendous lifestyle choice”; I won’t even make that argument. I’ll say it doesn’t matter. What matters, is that the choice is theirs to make. Not yours, and not a bunch of social conservatives. If there is any abomination, it is that one group has the indecency to (attempt to?) impose their world view on a minority who doesn’t share their world view and whose imposition drastically affects the potential for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for the minority.Frankly I think this study may explain what’s really going on with respect to those having issues with gay people:…Oh, wait! You were on a roll, tortured logic and all. Don’t let facts get in your way, carry on.

    2. raycote

      Encouraging homosexuality (and feminism,Care to dig any deeper before you close that bracket 🙂

    3. ShanaC

      Point one a)I suggest you read the end of Proverbs, the ideal biblical woman is described there. She apparently runs a business. Pretty feminist. It is really hard to say the woman described there is “traditional” by todays standards. one b) the reason I want to wait to have kids I see the people with really traditional veiws (i grew up with a lot of people like that)_. And what I see is a debt problem. Unlike a good chunk of biblical charachters, I can’t send my kids out sheepherding which would bring income. Since I want my kids to have every advantage, it is in my benefit to wait until I have the cash to support them. If you want otherwise, I suggest reading about policies that would support me having kids young (such as described here: http://www.foreignaffairs.c…point one c) historical numbers about babies suggest that wealthy people have always practiced some form of birth control because raising a zillion kids to adulthood (even with a high infant death rate) is a great way to have kids that are more likely to fail compared to the parentspoint 2) almost every person who I know who is GBLT is thankful that I am straight, because a number of them dealt with people like you, and it was pure torture. I mean, would you tell someone they should become gay if you knew that someone was going to go to you in your face and say ” I think you are promoting an agenda, I think you’re an abomination”The only agenda is to have all people treated the same when they are born, to have the same rights of contract or not contract, tax subsidy, inheritance, whatever.

      1. JamesHRH

        Your last paragraph is awesome, but it does not support an argument for the word marriage.It just doesn’t.

        1. ShanaC

          I’m not sure I support the institution of marriage myself. I like the idea, but I wonder immensely about it.

  46. Brandon Burns

    kudos for considering the issue big enough to warrant a post.however, it’s really too bad that the startup “brogrammer” culture is so gay unfriendly; and, really, unfriendly to anyone who doesn’t exist somewhere between geek and bro-y white dude.i know many who’ve been burned. i, personally, was at an event where a very well known nyc vc was talking to people afterwards. when i walked up to him, he stopped me at “hello” and said he didn’t have time to chat, but then stuck around for another hour plus to bro down with those who he felt were worth his time.not everyone is a culprit of this, but there’s certainly a ruling brogrammer majority. and they use words like “fit” and “culture” as an excuse to invalidate anyone not wearing a tee shirt, hoodie, pale skin and a taste for all things bro. and that’s a shame for the people who are supposed to represent all things forward-thinking.

    1. JamesHRH

      I won’t comment on your situations (pointless).The ugly side of all prejudice and bias is that fit & culture are paramount.Its just that fit & culture are supposed to be about values, capabilities & performance – not race, socio-economic status or any other superficial metric based.

    2. ShanaC


  47. Emily Merkle

    I am glad Obama came forward with this, as well as you, Fred.

  48. Anthony Ortenzi

    Same-sex weddings will create jobs, as will same-sex divorces.Is anyone aware of an analysis of what the macroeconomic effects of a “gay wedding stimulus” would be?

    1. JamesHRH


  49. chernevik

    Exactly right about normalcy. But it’s won at a price. There are wide swaths of society where any expression of anything less than complete and enthusiastic support of gay identity is regarded as homophobia. It doesn’t matter how reasoned the position might be, or how firmly you assert other people’s right to disagree you and live as they choose: you can be silent, or supportive, and that’s it.A long time ago I hoped gay rights would be obtained by getting people to mind their own business. Instead they’ve happened by insisting people have the right sort of opinions about other people’s business. As such it’s not as a big a win for freedom as it seems. A normalcy won by the cultural denormalization of other views is just another conformity.

  50. Otto

    Kudos to the President for his comments. That said, get the government out of the marriage business.

  51. Frank Smythe

    kidmercury – this is about gay marriage which Fred now says he supports. I disagree with him. The points I made in this thread is really, really simple. I commented, was attacked for my beliefs, and responded with the approach of “bending their minds to see where it took them.”I truly think Fred is an opportunist jumping on a political bandwagon of the politically incorrect.

    1. kidmercury

      i’m not sure where fred attacked you, aside from perhaps saying that preaching to him is ineffective — which i would not regard as an attack on you but rather a statement of personal preferences. conversely you’ve accused fred of shaming people into compliance and of being a political opportunist which i think are bigger attacks.

      1. JamesHRH

        you are cooking today Kid.

      2. Max Yoder

        I agree with @jameshrh:disqus . I like it when you comment, Kid. I agree with you about 50 percent of the time but I usually learn something either way.

      3. kidmercury

        @disqus i just wanted state my yearning for a return to the “like” rather than upvote/downvote. in addition to the problem of drowning out contrarian voices that downvoting introduces, there is the cultural issue where i wish to thank max yoder and jamesHRH for their comments here, and a like is a great way to communicate that — especially when they can see who is doing the liking. now i voted up their comments, although i’m using that as a proxy to show thanks/appreciation, and they don’t get to see that it’s me doing it which arguably defeats the purpose.

        1. bsoist


        2. LE

          It’s strange. With money I only tip if the person sees the tip. I’ve seen people leave money in the tip jar with the staffs backs turned and always wondered about that. With likes I never even knew that people saw who “liked” what they said. Of course a like doesn’t cost any money so I guess that’s why I’m generous! Shows you the nuance of human nature and how easy it can vary. Of course yes I tip the maid who cleans the room who I never see etc. But as I’ve said I almost feel that that is avoiding a negative feeling from not doing the right thing more than caring about the maid who is faceless.

    2. Dan

      The foundation for any meaningful debate is a shared set of principles or beliefs, of which morality should be included. I don’t think a debate has ever been “won” by framing an argument with beliefs the other party doesn’t share.Frank, if you want to convince people that your stance is the correct one, you should base your argument on a shared belief system. I’m not saying you’ll have any luck with this one, but at least you open the possibility of someone stoping to reflect on their own stance.The christian tradition I’m familiar with is “love the sinner, hate the sin”. Even if you believe that being gay is wrong, you should love and respect them as a person.

      1. JamesHRH

        This is why Dems are Dems and Reps are Reps.They fail to share core beliefs.Frank is an evangelical, it appears. The core belief is that he is right w God and you are not. Not much room for debate.

        1. raycote

          The core belief is that he is right w God and you are notBut that is a very elitist spiritual presumption by Frank.Frank can you speak to that issue ?

      2. ShanaC

        The problem is if you are highly secularized, it is really hard to find a common starting point. A lot of things are done for other reasons.

  52. vruz

    It would be moral courage in a year of election if Obama were down in the polls to Romney.But he’s about 9% above Romney, and he still hasn’t taken his gloves off.It’s moral courage when there is a great risk associated with voicing one’s opinion, but this is not the case.It’s just Obama’s opportunism attempting to coalesce a growing number of dissenting supporters who were staunchly for him, but having seen epic disasters like NDAA during his presidential tenure (just to give an example) are not so easily corralled into voting for the whole ugly package, and swallowing the hard democrat pill.I mean, I’m for it hands down, and I agree with Obama, and I “evolved” maybe 12 years earlier.But being right and timidly display some mild leadership from the rear doesn’t make it automatically courageous.These days even shy attempts to get things right are perceived as incredibly daunting and risky things, such is the zeitgeist of the docile and mind-numb societies we live in.How about signing an executive order and crafting law to put an end to this injustice in all of the US, including NC ?Now *that* would be courageous.

    1. vruz

      By the way, here’s in just one picture what created the dissenting factions (derided as ‘firebaggers’ and ‘professional left’) by the Obama administration.…Witth that put into perspective, you could just call it moral outrage. And no, it’s not buyer’s remorse.If they sell you something they can’t or won’t deliver, that’s not buyer’s remorse, that’s fraud.

  53. Frank Smythe

    Agree or disagree with me but know this – Obama, and the entitlement left Democrats have been a complete failure on economic issues so now they are going to focus on issues that will rile up their base – the Gay community. Their stance is a political farce.I support God’s belief and traditional marriage. Like me or not, that’s my stance, my belief and the core of who I am as a man. And get this, its no farce.

    1. MikeSchinkel

      @3DCv1NIMAq:disqus: How do you *know* it’s God’s belief? Because some people with vested interests and metaphorical megaphones who are not God have told you that it is God’s belief? Where was it mentioned in the Ten Commandments? Oh, it wasn’t.Are you for outlawing adultery? Clearly that’s higher up the “God’s belief” chain than homosexual marriage being one of the Ten Commandments, no?BTW, how has Obama been an economic failure? What facts do you have to bear that out? Or is it just that Obama is not the captain of the team that you want to win?

      1. Frank Smythe

        MikeSchinkel,One of the sad and dangerous signs of our times is how many people are enthralled by words, without bothering to look at the realities behind those words. Folks like you work very hard to find artful ways to say very little.People like you get pissed when we debunk your perception of reality…But the cosmos has a fantastic way of self-correcting for folks like you.I’ll pray for you.Frank

        1. MikeSchinkel

          Folks like me find artful ways to say very little? Pot, meet kettle.So rather than address my questions, you offer subterfuge? If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit, eh?And don’t pray for me; I find self-righteous people offering to pray for me to be highly offensive.

      2. JLM

        As a person who has made substantial inroads on violating all of the Ten Commandments and as a truly pathetic almost illiterate reader of the Bible, even I can state with some conviction that the Bible is quite clear on the subject of marriage.Without taking any position as to its wisdom, it is also worth noting that adultery has been outlawed by every State in the Union at some time or another and continues on the books of many States to this day.As to our President’s grades on managing the economy, I would only ask that you consider the economy’s performance as measured by unemployment (U-6 being my favorite measure), labor force participation rate, GDP, growth, government spending, gasoline prices, energy policy and other discretely measurable objective criteria.Ask yourself — are you better off?.

        1. MikeSchinkel

          @JLM – RE:Outlawing Adultery, I guess your sarcasm detector is malfunctioning today? :-)As for Obama, ignoring the fact you cannot objectively compare any President’s performance with any predecessor if you respect the validity constraints of statistics because they all have vastly different circumstances, yes, I think we were better off during Clinton’s years, we declined during GWBush’s years, and we are back to improving now that Obama has been in office. At least for me personally, I’m outrageously better off than during the GWBush years; those were some of my worst. And my business doesn’t sell to the government so my windfall is not a direct result of government spending.Further, to show I’m not overtly partisan, the GHWBush years were pretty good too. Too bad his son didn’t equal the father.But you want to know what I really think about Obama’s performance? I think anyone of us is hard pressed to evaluate Obama’s performance objectively on it’s merits because everything is propaganda these days. It’s all ideology and spin and objective data is extremely hard to come by. But as said before, things seem a lot better to me today than they did 2002-2008.

          1. JLM

            Gitmo will be closed immediately.KSM will be tried in a civil court in NYC.Give me $1T in Stimulus $$$ and unemployment will never crest above 8%.Most transparent Administration in history.Will never take PAC $$$.Obamacare will reduce health care costs.Opposed every debt ceiling increase as a Senator.Record unemployment, record spending, record deficits, record low labor forced participation rate, record gas prices, record food stamps, no budget in 3 years, no energy policy — these are objective facts.Are you really better off? NO..

          2. JamesHRH

            The disconnect there is breath taking.

          3. MikeSchinkel

            Those mostly are not facts, they are paraphrased campaign promises you evidently think he didn’t keep.Same shit, different day. Every president makes promises he can’t keep because circumstances change and congress doesn’t support his agenda.And I notice you quoted things you view as negative but don’t cover any of the positives. Let’s quote a few sources that seem to be trying to be balanced:http://www.thedailybeast.co…Then there are some lists of positive facts, none of which you cite:http://obamaachievements.orhttp://pleasecutthecrap.typ…As for transparency, I think you are way off there. Compared to past administrations Obama has taken steps to open government data like never before (see above lists on transparency).The national debt, which you didn’t directly mention, I will give you. But I don’t know what the alternative would have looked like either, so I don’t know if it was not medicine we needed.But what is the question, really? Are we better off, than what?

          4. JLM

            Not “facts”? What are you talking about? Those are all facts.Let’s just explore one issue — the closing of Gitmo and the court in which to try “terrorists” was and is a meaningful legal issue in the war on terror.Are these POWs, enemy combatants, terrorists, simple criminals?Are they the tools of a sovereign state? Are they combatants on a global battlefield?Are they subject to the rules of war, the Geneva Convention, international law, American criminal code?Should they be tried at all or summarily executed? Should they be held as POWs and repatriated at the cessation of hostilities? Should they be tried in American military tribunals? Should they be tried in American criminal courts?What rights, if any, do they possess?This is not a small white lie campaign promise. This is a large issue which requires a bit of deep thinking. I had hopes that the Obama administration was equal to the task.They were not.They failed to close Gitmo which would have been the first step on the road to dealing with this.They trod on their dicks — with absolutely no local coordination with NY, NYC, the NY Congressional delegation, the Mayor of NYC — and were on the verge of providing KSM the audience he sought.Total amateur hour.This is but one example wherein we may disagree as to the importance of being competent in shaping the future.I want a competent President. Obama is not that guy..

          5. MikeSchinkel

            @JLM – Why when I give a list of counterpoints to your points do you choose to now focus on just one?And please re-read your first list of “facts”; it was presented in a form that would have an English teacher assigning you an “F” because your list was presented inconsistently; you put the burden of interpretation on the reader.”Will never take PAC $$$” is not a “fact”, it is (I assume) your paraphrasing one of Obama’s campaign promises. The “fact” might be that “Obama took PAC $$$ after promising not to.” But that’s not what you said. And most of your list was in that form. If you are going to debate, at least present your arguments in a manner that does not require interpretation, please.Yes, Gitmo is a sore point, I am bothered it was not closed. But do I expect 100% perfection from my elected officials? Have never seen it before from either party, why should I expect it now? Presidents are human, have bandwidth limitations like all the rest of us, and they have to coordinate their promises with other humans whose agendas are opposite. It’s especially bad for Obama as the political climate is so partisan these days that many people who would rather see the country falter than for him (or any Democrat) to achieve successes. Yes, I blame a lot of this on the wild and harmful “with-us-or-against-us” rhetoric of the Tea Party leaders.So you expect Romney to close Gitmo? Funny I expect him to add on new wings so he can ramp up occupancy.And I expect Romney to get us into a new quagmire of a war because history shows that heads of state with have not seen military combat often err on the side of war to prove they are not soft. Just look at what Ehud Olmert did to Lebanon; can you say “disproportionate response?”Given how much GWBush’s war cost us ($0.8 trillion) I wonder how much Romney will put on the tab? In this case I think Obama has been stellar; he hasn’t had to start a full-blown war to prove he’s a solid the commander in chief. Obama has proven that the GOP doesn’t own “keeping us safe” anymore. 9/11 happened on Bush’s watch and nothing worth mentioning has happened on Obama’s watch on US soil.Your arguments are completely imbalanced; they present only the bad and don’t recognize any of the good. As someone who is constantly analyzing and re-evaluating, I’ve never understand how people can be so biased in their views, especially when being that way potentially harms what they claim to hold so dear. The best I can figure is that for some people having the other team in control causes resentment so great that little else is clear.So yes, even though you didn’t clarify the question, we are better off after 3+ years with Obama.BTW, I really don’t see why you are so upset that a teen girl band would get to play in NYC:… 😉

        2. ShanaC

          The bible is clear about impermissible sexual relationships and the reasons why. It isn’t clear as to what makes a marriage, a concubinage, and divorce. There is no description in the old testament of a wedding ceremony (though there are discussions of bride gifts on behalf of the groom for Isaac and Jacob)

    2. ShanaC

      The real issue is that you are misreading the bible.Here is the text explained out:…In context, the toe’vah/abomination is having sexual relationships that are pagan (the people of the land). Let’s forget for a moment that Jewish/Israelite people had El Statues (they look like this, this one is from Tel Meggido, and he is shorter in person: http://www-news.uchicago.ed… )Furthermore, to’evah is used to describe the crime of being usurous. And we don’t go stone credit card executives (yet).If you are going to say “gods rules” even biblical god, at least understand the text correctly…..

      1. MikeSchinkel

        I love your retorts @ShanaC:disqus!

        1. ShanaC

          I used to be very religious. And there was a point where I wanted to be a rabbi-cantor.I’m also pretty sure that I am the only person here who is still upset about losing 2 of the three volumes of a specialized aramaic dictionary (the cost is something like $1000, it was a dictionary that specialized between different locations of aramaic books and pottery). And that I semi-regret never buying the Brown-Drivers-Briggs, a good grammar of biblical hebrew, and a good grammar of aramaic, particularly babylonian variances. Though I actually do own a hebrew concordance* of the old testament, and a different aramaic dictionary.I actually wouldn’t mind going back and learning all that stuff again from an academic point of view. Particularly jewish writings from around the time of Jesus and Christianity’s development.Truthfully though, it was a choice between that (which I found to be the less insulting choice) or start discussing biblical text strata, the development of the bible, development of Jewish vs Christian thought in the early periods of Rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity I’m not educated enough for that discussion, though, and there are lots of politics that go into it.Or in other words, I’m a really dorky, overeducated Jewish chick.</dorkiness>*a concordance is a book that lists every word of something and all their occurrences in a set of books. Used often when studying the bible.

          1. ShanaC

            edit: actually, amazon has my missing dictionaries for something like 111 per volume. awesomeness.

          2. JamesHRH

            that’s a pretty solid bet.Where are you on the theory that all western religion is co-opted sun worship from Egypt, with the ‘Christ as an actually person’ bit thrown in to turn the pursuit of perfection (rise tomorrow and attempt to be as perfect as the sun) into a congregational lock-in of guilt (he dies for your sins, don’t miss the dish when we pass it down your row).Just interested.

          3. MikeSchinkel

            @jameshrh:disqus I tend to follow the 12th Planet theory. Seems the most plausible explanation offered for the evolution of all the world’s different religions. FWIW. 🙂

          4. MikeSchinkel

            @ShanaC:disqus But seriously, are you really in minority here? Aren’t many Jewish chicks really dorky and overeducated?And I mean that as a very high compliment. It’s one reason why I tend to really like most of the Jewish chicks I get to know. 🙂

  54. JLM

    PURELY POLITICAL COMMENTGet used to hearing the phrase “President Romney” because this action has delivered the entire South enmasse into the Romney column.The election is over. The only thing left to do is bayonet the wounded.It seems that folks must have completely forgotten the California 2008 Prop 8 (also an amendment to the Constitution) vote which reversed the California Supreme Ct ruling that gay “marriage” is legal.Prop 8, similarly to Amendment No 1 in NC, said that “marriage” is between one man and one woman.I mention this not as a legal argument but rather to illustrate that the issue itself is a huge loser at the ballot box — hell, even California could not get enough votes to affix the words “gay” and “marriage” to each other.C A L I F O R N I AIn addition to the simple electorate implications amongst the 30+ states who have defeated such measures, the implications for the Hispanic, Catholic and Black vote are enormous.The Hispanic vote will be altered immeasurably by the voice of the Church from the pulpit. The Church will speak against any candidacy which tampers with marriage in any manner. The chorus will then shift to abortion and follow up with contraception and Church rights. Big, big, big problem.The Catholic vote writ large — read white traditional Catholics — will make a toxic stew of gay marriage, abortion and contraception which will move the needle. Not the singular impact of any one issue but the cumulative impact of the entire goulash.The Black vote will be impacted by the offensive equivalency of civil rights and gay marriage — a linkage which has the potential for a fatal explosion. Black folks do not think that gay rights is a civil rights issue. Black voters will not likely vote against Obama, they will just stay home.The organizing efforts of recent initiatives — such as the recent NC Amendment No 1 opposition — will be vital, viral, alive and robust leading into the 2012 elections just 7 months in the future. These coalitions will be active and responsive.This will create a grass roots campaign — particularly when flavored with just a drop of Tea (Party) — that will make Acorn look nuts.The magnitude of the NC majority 61% v 39% is illuminating and transformative. You could not get a 61% victory for free pistachio ice cream in most of the US.Bear in mind that NC already had a ban on gay marriage. Amendment No 1 was not necessary though a Constitutional Amendment does have some perceived difference.This contest was really about whether the word “marriage” was going to be kidnapped or shoplifted.That majority — and produced by a large voter turnout to boot — will not suddenly forgive this sentiment. The NC election should be conceded. Romney has won and Obama has lost NC. Not going to even be close.This all seems to indicate that when Joe Biden is your point man, your brain trust and stalking horse there is a great probability of stepping in shit..

    1. LE

      You should be a syndicated columnist or broadcaster. I wish I could write like that.

    2. JamesHRH

      There is a massive flaw in this argument – who the hell actually likes pistachio ice cream?Well played. Its like having David Gergen around.

      1. JLM

        As I said you cannot get a 61% majority for free pistachio ice cream.JamesHRH — Exhibit One..

    3. Tom Labus

      What a nightmare a Romney presidency would be for us all.He is soulless.

      1. JLM

        Romney is a guy who will clear the To Do List.The only challenge with Romney will be to ensure that you like what is on the To Do List.Me, I am tired of Presidents who “feel” my pain, I want one who will make it go away..

  55. Misha Leybovich

    Fred, thought you might like this: quick multimedia presentation of the evolution towards marriage equality, in context of where and when:

  56. JLM

    We Americans are ENTITLED to the “pursuit of happiness” as one of founding sentiments of the creation of the Nation. Not actually “catching” happiness but rather “pursuing” it.A gentleman endeavors not to ever make another feel uncomfortable in their presence.As an American gentleman, I stand fully in support of any person pursuing — hell, catching is OK with me also — their own version of happiness. You may construe that statement as broadly and as deeply as you desire up to the limits of illegal behavior.This essentially libertarian sentiment loses a bit of traction when, at times, two different groups of folks cannot both be made “happy” simultaneously.When policy issues and different groups of folks are at odds with each other and our elected leaders cannot resolve an issue, then in our representative democracy sometimes the issue is put to the people at the ballot box.We all agree to live with that outcome. That is the American way.It seems like in the issue of gay “marriage” there have been a number of such contests which have almost overwhelmingly been decided in one direction. NC Amendment No 1 at 61% v 39% simply being the most recent example.Should NC or the country accept that decision of the electorate of NC even if we or you do not personally agree with it?It seems to me frankly that the entire issue has devolved down to who gets to use the word “marriage” like it were the equivalent of a teenage borrowing the family car.Marriage does have unequivocal legal implications which are codified in the unequal treatment given married folks enshrined in property, tax, estate and family law. To suggest that marriage is not a legal entanglement and does not exist under the law and is not unalterably intertwined with government is sheer nonsense.Marriage is the beginning of the creation of stable families into which children are brought and nurtured and developed into adults who repeat the circle of life.There is no more important social consideration than stable families. Crime. Mental illness. Success. Achievement. can all be fatally or beneficially impacted by the stability of families.It is very difficult to see how the voice of the electorate on this issue should not be disregarded at great peril.Having said that, I personally care not a whit who owns the word “marriage” and how it is used.I wish all great success in pursuing their happiness. I respect the fruits of our democratic process. Sometimes we cannot have everything right now.

    1. MikeSchinkel

      @JLM:disqus I agree with almost all you say that, but in advocating for majority rule you ignore protections for minority rights:http://www.annenbergclassro…Do you really want the US to be a government that endorses the tyranny of the majority?

      1. JLM

        Very small point but when specific alternatives are voted upon there are not majority and minority “rights” conveyed or created.There ARE winners and losers.The idea that losers at the ballot are granted “minority” rights by virtue of garnering fewer votes to a contested question, seems to be just nonsense.That is not intended that minorities — social minorities — are not to be given equal — not special or minority — rights.This last issue is one of banning discrimination not granting supernumerary rights by virtue of having been drummed at the ballot box.Winners and losers are a reality. This is not T ball..

        1. MikeSchinkel

          It may be “reality” as you say, but it’s contrary to the ideals that this country was founded on as evidenced by the Declaration of Independence.And what exactly is a “social minority” in your view?

          1. JLM

            The Declaration of Independence says nothing about any ideal that if you lose a free election you gain some nonsensical minority right.The “tyranny of the majority” is the turn of a phrase that means nothing.Majorities rule when those majorities are relevant to the determination of policies put to a vote. Even if you simply do not like the outcome..

          2. MikeSchinkel

            Sigh. Jefferson is churning in his grave.

    2. Guest

      Well, considering our divorce rate:The divorce rate in America for first marriage, vs second or third marriage50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce, according to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri.It seems that in the US with our divorce rate we think that pursuing and catching happiness are one and the same.Then when you add our rate of adultery, 10% (… we really got the game of happiness all figured out.Can’t help, with statistics like this, to see the vote in NC as nothing more than “nana, nana, boo, boo!”I guess a whole bunch of folks in NC believe that government can fix a problem that they cannot fix themselves…like their marriages.So, JLM explain to me how Americans, who are supposed to be independent and self reliant, can cop a belief in their values and morals, with statistics like those listed above?Oh, that’s right, its all those liberals preaching all that crap about “it takes a village….”Since Massechusetts has such high taxes and the lowest divorce rate in the nation (oh, and they approve of gay marriages) it seems to me that the South might want to study their problems before feeling all moralistic:

      1. JLM

        I have absolutely no idea what you are saying..

  57. Pete Griffiths

    Totally agree.

  58. Modernist

    For those confused by the lack of decency in our culture, and those intrigued by the relationship with “evolution”, I would suggest the biography of Clarence Darrow by John A. Farrell, which shows how little has changed since his time.

  59. lameduck001

    Gays are normal and accepted yet the concept of marriage doesn’t suit them. Marriage means you will have children in most cases but how can a child call a man mother or a woman father?Use another name for gay marriage then all your states will have no issue for it

    1. MikeSchinkel

      According to Wikipedia: “Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship”, Wikipedia being the most common source I know with reasonable built-in checks and balances against bias.…Wherein there is anything that means “married couples will have children?” It *recognizes* children, and infers them special rights, but it doesn’t imply children. At least I can’t find those words anywhere in there.And rename it to solve the problem? Not so in North Carolina…



    1. JamesHRH

      He is a backer, not an out-fronter.Building thesis for a movement……….then filling the coffers for the leaders that movement attracts……that’s a better guess, no?

      1. fredwilson

        you are on to me James

        1. laurie kalmanson

          fred-pac — awesome. an honest politician: once they’re bought, they stay bought. we have to buy a lot.

    2. laurie kalmanson

      fred for president; fg for, well, never mind, he already rules the world

  61. Guest

    The “election” in NC that saw the amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman and banning civil unions, was a primary election which saw 2 million of the 9 million registered voters in NC show up to cast a ballot.Thus the “majority” was 13.55% of the total population of the state.Primary elections are well attended by the elderly and those with strong party affiliations.As such, there is not much to read from those tea leaves other than if the demographics of this election mirror those of typical primary elections, then one could very easily argue that the amendment did not win a convincing majority.Then, all of us are concerned about morals and values. These are always election year wedge issues, and of course the concept of gay marriage is one that we use to define our stance on the broader question of morals and values.Our national divorce rate is 66% of all first time marriages, and it goes up dramatically for the 2nd and 3rd marriage. We also are experiencing a surge in the rate of admitted affairs by individuals in marriage. The rates for divorce and adultery are considerably higher in Southern states than it is in Northern States.In fact, Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the nation and the lowest number of children born out of wedlock. Thus it could be argued, following the logic of some members of the AVC community that high taxes promotes stronger marriages .It could also be argued that there is an inverse relationship between one’s church attendance (which is higher in the south) and or ones professed religious views (which is stronger in the south) and the affect of religion on ones personal behavior (such as divorce).Oh yes cynicism could very easily lead one to the belief that Barack Obama was just playing to his base with his recent revelation about gay marriages. But after 6 months of watching the Republican primaries its hard to see how anyone would be anything but cynical watching Mitt Romney attempt to become an orthodox conservative only to now watch, as he “pivots” to the general election and “moves” more to the center, Sadly, politics is nothing but playing to your base.Then you have the argument of government and our personal lives. There are those that will argue that the federal government should be weaker and the state governments should be stronger. There are those who will argue that no government should intrude on our individualism and that leaves another who group that basically believes that government is government what does it matter if it is state, local, or federal.What is critical is to observe where their positions on government levels stands when they find their party in power in the White House and how it differs when they are not in the White House.Yes, there are those that will argue that the definition of marriage should be decided on a local or state level but will also support a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman whenever their is a conservative in the White House.Personally, I think we argue all the wrong things and that our politics is the root of our problems (like in there can only be a conservative or a liberal solution and that what is defined as liberal or conservative is true liberalism and or true conservatism).But then again, my wife and I were not married in a church nor did we ever seek a marriage certificate. Yes, living in sin and without the protection of any government.27 years we have been cohabiting, not one affair, not ever a mention of divorce. We have been through good times and bad…some very bad. We never had kids and thus cannot use them as an excuse to stay together.Just the two of us and our vows that we spoke walking hand in hand along a beach.I just tell people to FUCK the world and everybody in it! Live your life by your own standards, and make damn sure that your standards are right and strong. If you are gay and want to marry then by all means do so. You define your marriage for yourself (and don’t worry about the competition because they only have a 1 in 3 chance of being successful). If you find yourself in a hospital and you are denied visitation then just barge in but never sacrifice your beliefs for those of others.As far as Christians in the south go, well lets not forget that Jesus was crucified by the Status Quo; it was the state/local government that did him in and he probably would have faired better with the federal government (Rome).

  62. laurie kalmanson

    marriage is one of many social contracts made by human beings; gay people are human beings; gay people can have social contracts, of which marriage is one.yes.

  63. thinkdisruptive

    Such a lot of extreme rhetoric here (in the commentary even more than the original post). I’ll try to stick to facts, but even they appear controversial.1. Marriage was an institution created by the church, at a time when societies were predominately theocratic, to give an official community sanction and protection to the family unit. It was defined by the church to be a union between a male and female, mostly for the purpose of having children.2. It was never intended to be the basis for insurance benefits, inheritance law, visitation rights, power of attorney, tax benefits or burdens, or any of the secular state benefits now attached to it.3. The state is free to define any group arrangement, civil union, or other societal arrangement and associated legal and assumed benefits that it likes. There is no reason this needs to involve the church.4. The state adopted the term marriage and its structure from church definitions to give state blessing to a religious institution, and for a while that was ok with society and with the church because the values in this regard were mostly the same, even though the state became increasingly secular.5. The reason there is conflict is because the church still considers marriage to be a religious institution since they created it, while the rest of society thinks of it more as a contract defining a living arrangement and legal benefits.I think the most practical solution is to define a superclass of living arrangements known for lack of a better term as “civil unions”. Then, we can have gay civil unions, church-endorsed marriage civil unions, straight civil unions which are the traditional “city hall” justice-of-the-peace-endorsed civil unions, none of which needs any special sanction or law changes. But, we could also create other classes of civil unions, such as brothers living together (no sex involved) who want to inherit all the legal privileges and benefits and we call that a sibling civil union (why shouldn’t children whose parents have died, for example, be able to have the same family insurance benefits as married or civil-unioned couples? Seems pretty reasonable to me.) We could have presumed civil unions, which are created automatically when two people living together have children together, even when they never sought an official endorsement. And so on.The biggest benefit to this is that as a society, we remove religion from the equation, and instead we think of the benefits that should attach to a class of living arrangements and what arrangements should belong to that class, rather than try to force a state view of modern living arrangements on the church, or conversely have the church get involved in the personal decisions of non-religious people.This arguing over what a marriage is could simply cease. The term marriage belongs to the church, and they have their rules. The term civil union belongs to the state, and they make up their rules. Marriage becomes simply a special case of a civil union, and it doesn’t need to make anyone angry.What I find particularly insane about this whole emotional debate is:a) why anyone cares what someone else does in privateb) why it is so divisive politically and sociallyc) why this should have any impact at all on an election when this country’s economy is still in the toilet, we have massive geo-political issues to sort out, the housing market is more broken than it was 5 years ago, we have a national debt that exceeds the size of the GDP and can’t even bring ourselves to balance the budget (to stop the debt load from increasing) let alone run a surplus for the 40 years it would take to pay off the debt, and we still have massive un- and under-employmentWhere are our priorities?

    1. MikeSchinkel

      Try to rename it and they will argue over the name. This is mostly a get-out-the-vote tactic by GOP to rally social conservatives who will reliably vote Republican.

      1. JLM

        The most reliable voting bloc in America is the socially conservative. The GOP does not have to do anything to get these folks to the polls. They live at the polls.The Republicans are enormously successful on the wedge issues simply because the underlying numbers are there.Witness the recent 61% majority in NC on Amendment No 1 during a PRIMARY season and with a very high turnout. The substantive observation being that many folks would not normally come out to vote, it was just a primary. Can you imagine what will happen in the general election in November?Why any skillful politician would inject the same losing issue into the Presidential campaign begs looking for lobotomy scars. It is a losing issue and not by a slim margin.Taking the NC issue to its logical conclusion — the same organizations which drove its success will continue through November unabated and with the enthusiasm of winners.NC will go the way of this issue which reverses a state that Obama won in 2008..

        1. MikeSchinkel

          @JLM Can’t disagree with you on the political potency of social conservatives except to say that beating the drum on a wedge issue can get a higher percentage out of vote than might otherwise vote if they don’t see much difference. The GOP often pulls stunts like this; get a wedge issue on the ballot and that drives their base out to vote. Too bad the Democrats can’t be manipulated as reliably.Note: Romney was far from the first choice of social conservatives. It will be interesting to see how many of them get disgusted with Romney as he tacks to the left for the general election. Can you say “Etch A Sketch?”However, I won’t begin to predict who will win the general election. Over the past decade I’ve completely lost faith in our electorate to make rational and informed decisions (rack it up to ignorance of my youth!)Funny though how the world has progressed over the centuries. It’s usually the social conservatives of the day who end up having been on the wrong side of history (need I document history on this?) Ultimately I expect the gay rights issue will be no different.

          1. JLM

            When it comes to manipulation nobody can touch the Democrats.Let me give you just two examples —1. Labor unions take union dues from their members — actually paid by their employers, truth be told — who are both Republicans and Democrats and then distribute them only to Democratic candidates disregarding the fact that they have picked the pockets of their Republican members and misdirected their funds after confiscating them.Is it any wonder that the UAW ended up w/ a huge chunk of the GM re-tooling? When did a union which had bankrupted its employer with its benefits package ever receive a slice of the equity?Only when Obama rewarded his loyal stooges.2. Take a careful look at the institutionalized corrupt relationship among the Democratic party, ACORN and the SEIU. Wade Rathke and his felonious brother being co-founders of both ACORN and the SEIU.No Republican ever had the cojones of those two crooks..

          2. MikeSchinkel

            @JLM – I am mostly very anti-labor union from when I was exposed to what was considered a “good union” during my college Co-Op years working at a union-employed manufacturing plant. So I agree with you on unions.As for ACORN and SEIU I honestly can’t say I’ve paid much attention to them though I have heard their names thrown about in the past so I decided to see what Wikipedia has to say:…So, Dale Rathke embezzeled $1 million? He’s a criminal and stupid.Regarding the undercover video controversy Massachusetts Attorney General found “no evidence of criminal conduct by ACORN employees, but concluded that ACORN had poor management practices that contributed to unprofessional actions by a number of its low-level employees” and the District Attorney’s office for Brooklyn concluded that there was no criminal wrongdoing by the ACORN staff.So ACORN is incompetent; is that a crime?You’ll note, BTW, ACORN is non-partisan, they go where the money is. For that matter, who doesn’t?As for SEIU, after reading I agree, I think they are despicable and would love to see them disbanded. But one corrupt lobbying organization that donates does make an entire political party bad:…But it’s your last statement that really takes the cake! “No Republican ever had the cojones of those two crooks.” Are you really saying that as a belief, or is that just your spin? If the former, I’ve lost all respect for any potential for rational thought from you.BOTH Republicans and Democrats have had corruption; stating one to be corrupt and the other to be principled causes me to question if you really think or just emote?Republicans don’t have the cojones you say? Can we say $16 billion in cojones?http://www.nationalcorrupti…How about $23 billion?…Or how about $7 billion?…To say nothing of Tom Delay, “The Hammer”:…ACORN and SEIU can’t even TOUCH Dick Cheney+Haliburton+KBR or Tom Delay.And you know what else? People did not die enmasse because of ACORN and SEIU. To me corruption that causes mass death is 1000x worse than corruption that indirectly steals funds, and 50x worse than corruption that influences the outcome of elections. And to make matters worse, mass death cost a WHOLE LOT MORE MONEY.Now don’t dig up Democratic corruption, it goes both ways; I don’t have on rose colored glasses in that respect. Personally though I think Dick Cheney is THE most corrupt person in US history and that corrupt Democrats are pathetically trivial in their corruption compared to corrupt Republicans. But that’s just my opinion.HOWEVER, and this was what I was discussing before your reply, Republicans use language for manipulation far more effectively than Democrats. With Republicans it has been institutionalized with the GOPAC memo:…George Lakoff explained it back in 2003:…And Republican pollster writes a manipulation manual in “Words that Work”:…Basically it’s conservative think tanks that work very hard to “frame” issues for maximum manipulation. Progressive/librerals try, but it just doesn’t resonate with their base (see below for why.)In the past think tanks were mostly academic and non-partisan but with the emergence of the highly partisan think tanks like Heritage and their “Mandate for Leadership” has really manipulated the US citizenry:…Of think tanks 47% are centrist, 37% are conservative and 16% liberal; that’s more than 2x conservative think tanks than liberal with the former being far better funded given who their consituents tend to be:…So don’t tell me Democrats are better at manipulation. I can only WISH that to be the case so we could have some balance.Just a personal analysis I admit but I think that messages work better at manipulating conservatives than progressives/liberals because black-and-white messages resonate with conservatives whereas progressives/liberals focus on shades of gray. And it’s much easier to create a simple and memorable black-and-white message than to create a complex one that resonates with a large group of voters.Why is this all potentially true? Because our brains are literally different. Conservatives are “more sensitive to disgust and respond to threatening situations with more aggression” and “when faced with ambiguity conservatives tend a strong emotional response.” Liberals have a “higher capacity to tolerate uncertainty and conflicts”, are more “adaptable to a changing environment” and “respond better to informational complexity, ambiguity, and novelty.”…http://blogs.discovermagazi…Kind of explains your and my response to each other, eh? ;-)BTW, what am I looking for from you? And even hand and balance in your analysis. If everyone always argues ideology we just prep for a fight and never come together to actually solve problems.

    2. JLM

      Well stated. I agree with you more than you agree with yourself.Well played.How many jobs have been created by this silly debate?ZERO.

  64. Leo Berg

    You stole the words out of my mouth! Yesterday when speaking with my father I told him I am proud of Obama’s courage, but I am unsure if it was a wise move with the current political environment. Either way I like that Obama is FINALLY having the courage to say what he believes in a way that will effect him at the polls and not apologizing for it.

  65. cfrerebeau

    Beyond the symbol that is “marriage”, I believe this question of same sex marriage really revolved around all the rights that are traditionally attached to mariage and thus are denied to many same sex couples that lives together:- right to live together in the same country (marriage help to get a green card / visa for mixed nationality couples)- right to wealth protection: inheritance / life insurance / …- right to divorce (alimony)- and so forthThere are so many real life examples where the law / regulation is just negatively skewed for same sex couples. So yes, I agree with you, it’s about the right to have a normal life, it’s about having the right to an happy life with the same protections that the other couples get.

  66. Emily Merkle

    This public statement by President Obama is a leadership moment.

  67. raycote

    Good point but why should the 14th Amendment be any more immune from being thrashed than the rest?I’m Canadian but still I see the American constitution as an amazing historical accomplishment. It is the single most important beachhead for democratic freedoms ever and even as an outside spectator to American politics I find it hard to watch it being slowly unraveled by hordes of monetizing and moralizing special interest barbarians.This trend is a serious lose and threat that ripples out far beyond the American boarder.Maybe a more vigorous public debate around the democratic spirit and intent of the constitution would help expand the discussion beyond the present myopic focus on the drain whole.

  68. kidmercury

    here’s a great analysis of the 14th amendment:…it was a states’ rights issue from the beginning and it remains a vehicle the feds can use to shift power to them and away from the states.

  69. MickSavant

    I don’t see how the 14th Amendment applies here. A gay man and straight man both have the same right to marry a woman.As a libertarian I prefer to see government out of all marriage. Recognizing that this is highly unlikely I would prefer gay marriage be legal over not, but this is not a constitutional rights issue. The way to address this is with popular vote.This poses a problem for many in the pro gay marriage crowd who like to demonize religion and those who disagree with them rather than reaching out and earning their support.

  70. JamesHRH

    CDN Charter of Rights & Freedoms more often adopted by emerging democracies, because of lack of internecine levels of government rights. More people based.

  71. raycote

    “Not withstanding”But yes I like our political tipping points.